The chapter I read today is very interesting one as the author tries to compare between three generations of learners. The author starts by stating some of the ways that today’s net Geners learn and how the education culture must change to cater for the new learning paradigm. Here are some highlighted points:
1. They learn by doing. I teach at a college where all students have tablets PCs. Sometime when I try to explain how to do certain things on the computer, many of them won’t listen. They immediately start to figure out themselves how to do things. They like to discover things on their own. Give them a book to learn from is a waste of time. Never buy a computer book anymore; students will use the online help to figure out things by trial and errors instead of reading instructions or manuals. Students like hands-on, experimental and interactive activities. Faculty must adjust their teaching styles to accommodate these types of learners in their classrooms or they will lose them.
2. Human Interaction. With all the existing technologies, the net geners still prefer to interact with their teachers and follow students in classrooms. They like to work in groups and help each others. So many times happened in my classes that when student is asking a question, immediately another student will get up and walk toward the person who is asking the question and try to help. Initially, I thought that it could be a cultural phenomenal but after reading this article I agree with the author that it is not. Learning though social interaction and getting feedback from teachers still an important to the Net Generation learners of today.
3. Cut-and-Past culture. Technology is everywhere. At home, at school, and at work. The learners of today have the tools to access information at all time. As research shows, cheating on the rise at universities. The net geners learn to work and help each other as part of the team work skill set they learn in schools, the author states that the current definition of cheating is changing and how students is assessed is changing as well.
What do Net Generation learners want from Technology?
As more technology is used in classrooms, students are going to ask for it to be used and integrated with their learning process in the classroom. Staff must be trained on how to use the new technology and how to integrate it in their lessons. It is very important that universities, colleges and schools support their staff in this integration process otherwise; the use of technology will become a burden on the teachers instead of helping them in teaching and learning process. Technology must always be seen as a learning tool to facilitate learning in the classrooms.