Saturday, June 17, 2006

How to engage the Net-generation

There is currently a vast array of communications options available on the Internet. Especially young people have grasped the potential offered to them by blogs, web pages and increasingly personal spaces such as 'My Space' and 'youtube' to make links with like minded people and to invite comments and messages to their postings. The speed in which communities are being formed has surprised most observers. Participants in these developments, though, take them for granted as expressing themselves to the wider world has increasingly become part of their life style.

The education world has not grasped yet the revolution that is taking place outside the class room. The discrepancy in the way technology is being used inside and outside the class room seems to be growing.
The availability of blog and web authoring tools and their ease of use have made that a vast number of people are now engaged in interacting on the Internet. It has created a huge leap forward in moving people on from being consumers to becoming producers of information.

As educators know, the pace of change within institutions is a lot slower than outside the brick walls, which raises questions about the ability of formal education institutions to keep engaged the generation that lives in a technology saturated world and has grown up with technology.