Here is an interview about “the dumpest generation”. Thanks to George for the link.
Worthy to reflect on the significance and implications of overly absorption with the social media by the younger generation. What are their interests? Do they exhibit interests different from their older generation – their parents, their relatives – aunts and uncles etc. A resounding yes? Again, there are lots of assumptions here, relating to the differing interests. There are, however, statistics supporting that teenagers learn quite differently from adults, especially in an online or social networking environment.
The conclusions are sane, compassionate, and compelling: in a nutshell, the “serious” stuff we all hope kids will do online (researching papers and so on) are only possible within a framework of “hanging out, messing around and geeking out.” That is to say, all the “time-wasting” social stuff kids do online are key to their explorations and education online.
Ito and her team establish a taxonomy of social activity, dividing it first into “peer-driven” and “interest-driven” — the former being what kids do with their real-world friends, the latter being the niche interests that drive them to locate other people who are as fascinated as they are by whatever brand of esoterica they fancy.
So what are the interests of our younger generation? In this post by Adora, she expressed concerns about the current education system, and suggested ways to improve it. She further elaborated on the benefits of incorporating online learning in schools.
This also relates to the power and control often exercised by the educators (as parents, as teachers, as administrators) on their learners. If the educators or parents gain a better understanding about how their kids are doing online, and how their learners or kids would benefit from online learning, then they would be in a better position in supporting their learning, rather than limiting their opportunities through explorations and education online. This would in turn empower their learners in developing their potential, and thus become an autonomous learner in their learning journey.