Net Generation students were born into the age of information technology. Their attitudes, expectations, skills and learning styles reflect their environment - which contrasts our own upbringing.
From my personal experience as an educator, I've outlined what I believe are the 7 key traits of the Net Generation:
Net Gen expect instant access to information. If they need to know something, they will Google it. They also need connectivity to their peers. Social networking sites such as MySpace exemplify this fact.
Net Gen are early adopters of new devices and social tools. They love iPods, mobile phones, sms, social networks, chat, IM and to a lesser extent, email (because it is not instant).
Net Gen enjoy group work and exchanging ideas with others. This trait follows from the first two, because when one is connected and communicative, they will most likely be collaborating with others.
Net Gen are digital natives. Lets face it, our students are as young as the Internet. Modern technology is a normal part of their lives.
Net Gen prefer to learn by doing rather than being told what to do. They explore, experiment and build. "Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Let me do and I understand". Chinese Proverb
Net Gen are producers not consumers of information. They are actively involved in Web 2.0 technologies such as blogger, flickr, myspace, youtube and wikipedia.
Net Gen prefer image over text rich environments for learning.
In summary, Net Gen pose significant challenges for school educators. What are your experiences and thoughts with regard to educating the Net Gen?...