Attributes of the digital generation

Kids are neurologically different today due to “digital bombardment.” They process information in a fundamentally different way.

They spend an average of 80 hours a week using three digital screens. (They also reach physical maturity three years earlier.)

Excerpt from a talk by Ian Jukes:

Attributes of the Digital Generation

Attributes of Teachers

The result/What we can learn

Prefer receiving information quickly from hyperlinked sources at “twitch speed” Prefer slow and controlled release of information

The death of patience

Prefer parallel processing and multi-tasking – “continuous partial attention” Prefer to process one thing at a time

Multi-tasking not as effective for completing tasks. Since devices encourage multitasking, we need to help kids focus when necessary

Prefer processing color, photos, and videos before text – text complements the visual Prefer to process text first – use images to complement text

Consider this: after 72 hours, we have a 90% recall of images after a short exposure; only 10% of a lecture can be recalled.

Read in an F-pattern. Their eyes move differently on a screen, skimming first the top and then the left edge of the page. They ignore the right side and the bottom. The visual cortex encompasses 30% of brain function, while the auditory is only 3%. Read in a Z-pattern across the page

Use color and images to draw students’ eyes to parts of the “page” where we want them to look

Prefer “just-in-time” learning. Most will have 10-17 careers by the time they are 35 years old. Prefer “just-in-case” learning

Instead of “being educated” and then working, digital generation will alternate between education and work as they  learn new skills for their next career

Want instant gratification and immediate rewards Comfortable with deferred gratification and delayed rewards Provide affirmation, attention, and support which are provided more easily through the games and social media they use than through sports, music lessons, or studying
Want learning that is relevant, instantly useful, and fun. They create and control their digital environments and get rewarded for doing so. Play=Work Expect kids to memorize material to pass a test.

The quality of the school experience needs to match what kids are finding outside of school.


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