Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Gen-Y Folks Will Know What To Do With It - Not

Yet Another Technology Adoption Myth:
Our "digital natives" are immersed in technology and therefore predisposed to efficiently adopt all-digital systems and processes.
Put another way, we seem to be on the verge of having a student/user/population base that no longer needs remedial coaxing to overcome technology angst. We will no longer need to exhort the benefits of adopting modern technologies. Its value proposition will be a foregone conclusion by virtue of the fact that it's already in wide-scale use. Our problem will have been distilled down to a simple plumbing exercise.

While the basic concept seems reasonable, it seems to be missing a critical component - empirical evidence.

Are we, in fact, on the verge of a population comfortable with technology? Let's check with the students.

I stumbled upon a wonderfully simple approach one Australian academic used to assess the degree to which her students were ready to adopt online technologies for learning.

In How Digitally-Native are Gen-Y?, Kate Foy relays the results of an informal survey she did with one of her classes. The article also references another post where she discusses online technology angst. Interested readers should definitely take a look.

Here are a small number of takeaways:
  • Advanced features like mobile web access are becoming commonplace but often go unused due to cost. The mLearning crowd will probably need to lean on podcasts a bit longer if they want any appreciable market in the short term.
  • Don't assume the Gen-Y folks 'live' on the net. This is a feature.
  • We're still not to the point where lack of paper won't prompt anxiety. This is probably a feature as well.
None of these should too surprising...

1 comment:

Sue Waters said...

Yes Kate's post was excellent. This week I am writing a series on the use of Web 2.0 with students and my first post started off with Fact or Fiction? You tell me because of the myth associated with how digitally competent the digital natives are.

As my students are vocational education and training I linked to Kate's posts so they people could not claim that it was a reflection on my type of students. Readers have now been commenting that we need to be highlighting this fact because it is an issue.

Mobile Technology in TAFE