I’m sitting here now writing as a self acknowledged “Baby Bust”er, but what else am I? A number of my fellows in the staffroom have recently discovered Generation ‘Y’, via a Readers Digest article (!), and I can only imagine the glazed-over look if I tried to explain Generation ‘C’.Netizen / NetGen (“DotNet” generation) as terms have been in use for at least a decade (side note: I hate the term Millennials as if a random artifice or chronological concurrence has anything to with defining such a wide sweep of people). I acknowledge ‘digital migrant’ but do we really have a real generation of ‘digital natives’ yet, when so many of our school families are still the wrong side of the ‘digital divide’?
Tapscott’s Growing up Digital has the Net Generation from 1980 onwards (the book was pub. 1997) and Pew Research named them Generation Next, the 18-25 year-olds (born between 1981 and 1988). Maybe being born in ’64 I’m a Gen“X”er, falling off the back of the Boom, and into the bust of the ‘80’s (although I never really had the MacJob, and I was never a ‘MicroSerf’). I echo Simon’s worry about Net-Gen being Net-Bust: “By the time my class reaches 18 and ready for ‘work’ the oldest Net-Gen will be 38 and filling the jobs, with experience as well as expertise in use of current Net-Tools. What will that mean for my class? They will have to adapt further, be quicker, smarter and even more determined than the Net-Gen. How is that going to impact on my teaching today, tomorrow, next week?”
Still one small beacon for us teachers: Pew’s A Portrait of “Generation Next” How Young People View Their Lives, Futures and Politics, finds a quarter of 18-25 year-olds name a person who is close to them as the person they admire most. For many (12%) it is a teacher, professor or mentor!