Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grown Up Digital

Last week I ordered my copy of Don Tapscott’s Grown Up Digital book. I had recently heard a great deal of buzz from some of my colleagues about this book being a ‘must read’ for educators. As I sorted through my Spring Break reading stack, Tapscott’s book made it to the top of the pile as the second book to tackle in my short break from teaching. Of course I had my trusty highlighter pen and pad of post-it notes before reading Tapscott’s research and insights on how the Net Generation is changing our world.

Chapter 1 titled The Net Generation Comes of Age. “The bottom line is this: if you understand the Net Generation, you will understand the future” (p.11). Equally important is that if we understand the past, we [educators] can begin to understand how our personal views, behaviours, attitudes and attributes are shaped through our own generation. I found it quite enlightening to read about the expectations defined for my generation (Generation X). Tapscott defines my generation by saying “Gen Xers among the best-educated group in history” (p. 14). That definitely puts a smile on my face as I prepare for my MEd convocation this spring!

While I’m not quite finished reading the book I had to post just a few of his comments from the beginning section that struck me as important factors to understanding the Net Generation:

· The Net Generation assimilate technology because they are growing up with it; adults accommodate technology – this presents a more challenging type of learning (p. 18).

· As adults we must change our established thinking patterns to truly accommodate new technologies (p. 18).

· The Net Geners are active collaborators, initiators, organizers, readers/writers, and strategists (p. 21).

· Net Geners are forcing the education system to change “from a teacher-focused approach based on instruction to a student-focused model based on collaboration” (p. 11).

Once I have finished reading the book, I suspect that I will have more comments on this fascinating look at the Net Generation.