This article helps reinforce what many of us already know - the way we learned to teach ten (or more) years ago is not the way most students learn today. We are not going to change the way they learn, so we will have to take articles like this one, digest the facts, and adjust our teaching methods accordingly.
Not only has the world changed but students are not as they were in our day, the old days, or anytime within recent memory. Because they are different, teaching and learning must also be different.
The Pew Research Center released “A Portrait of Generation Next.” In it, they conclude, “A new generation has come of age, shaped by an unprecedented revolution in technology and dramatic events both at home and abroad. They are more comfortable with globalization and new ways of doing work. They are the most likely of any age group to say that automation, the outsourcing of jobs, and the growing number of immigrants have helped and not hurt American workers. Asked about the life goals of those in their age group, most Gen Nexters say their generation's top goals are “fortune and fame.”
In their report “Teens and Technology: Youth are Leading the Transition to a Fully Wired and Mobile Nation,” Pew researchers state, “The number of teenagers using the Internet has grown 24% in the past four years and 87% of those between the ages of 12 and 17 are online, and more than half (55%) of all online American youths ages 12-17 use online social networking.” See more data in the sidebar below.
Teens and the Internet
The vast majority of teens in the United States, 87% of those aged 12 to 17, now use the Internet. That amounts to about 21 million youth who use the internet, up from roughly 17 million when we surveyed this age cohort in late 2000. Not only has the wired share of the teenage population grown, but teens’ use of the internet has intensified. Teenagers now use the internet more often and in a greater variety of ways than they did in 2000. There are now approximately 11 million teens who go online daily, compared to about 7 million in 2000.
• 87% of U.S. teens aged 12-17 use the internet, up from 73% in 2000. By contrast,
• 66% of adults use the internet, up from 56% in 2000.
• 51% of teenage internet users say they go online on a daily basis, up from 42% in
At the same time, the scope of teens’ online lives has also broadened. One out of every two teens who use the internet lives in a home with a broadband connection. Wired teens are more frequent users of instant messaging. And they are now more likely to play games online, make purchases, get news, and seek health information.
• 81% of teen Internet users play games online. That represents about 17 million people and signifies growth of 52% in the number of online gamers since 2000.
• 76% get news online. That represents about 16 million people and signifies growth of 38% in the number of teens getting news online since 2000.
• 43% have made purchases online. That represents about 9 million people and signifies growth of 71% in teen online shoppers since 2000.
• 31% use the Internet to get health information. That represents about 6 million people and signifies growth of 47% in the number of teens using the internet this way since 2000. - From Teens and Technology: Youth are Leading the Transition to a Fully Wired and Mobile Nation - http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Teens_Tech_July2005web.pdf
Food for thought ....