I am currently reading Rewired by Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D. The book is about understanding the way that the iGeneration learns. The book defines the iGeneration as:
“…born in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the iGeneration children and teens are in elementary school, middle school, and high school. They spend their days immersed in a “media diet,” devouring entertainment, communication, and well, any form of electronic media. They are master multitaskers, social networkers, electronic communicators and the first to rush to any new technology.”
The iGeneration fills their time with social media, connected to their friends through facebook, tweets, IMs and texting. This generation texts more than it talks on the phone according to a 2008 study by the Nielsen polling group fro a panel of 50,000 cell phone owners they found that preteens (why do they have phones in the first place?) sent and received 428 texts a month and only 137 calls. Teens 13 – 17 sent and received 1742 texts and only 231 calls monthly, which is staggering, but a similar study nine months later found that these same teens were sending 2899 texts compared to only 191 calls. What does this mean for learning and teaching?
Our children are sending and receiving information in a maximum of 140 characters a tweet and 160 characters a text. Their information is one search away and comes to them in megabytes. Entertainment is HD, interactive, bigger than life, gives instant feedback and is often linked to their friends through the internet. It is difficult to imagine that our schools, teachers and parents can compete with this kind of technological onslaught.
Is it any wonder that our children claim that they are bored in a place that has limited technology and real people rather than digitally enhanced super people?