Who are these “digitals”? The fundamentals of teaching and learning are not likely to change but we will explore some interesting opportunities and possible challenges. It is more about attitude and casual un-questioning acceptance of a vast array of technologies in every facet of life.

It is about what they don’t remember – as far as they know

  • computers have always fit into a backpack
  • the internet is a citable research paper resource

you aren't one if you...[]

  • dial your cell phone with your finger - use thumbs
  • wear a watch - cell phone displays time, automatically changes time zones
  • remember going into a bank to take out money - ATMs are the oldest banking format they know
  • stand in line to buy movie tickets - fandango
  • look up a company phone number - "Everyone" knows you just dial 1-800-GATEWAY when you have a problem with your laptop, check website or just dial letters
  • remember learning to double-click a mouse - could do by preschool, often before they could hold a crayon
  • think of something round associated with the word disk - one of those little square plastic packages with like no storage
  • don't know what IM stands for - all forms of Instant Messaging can all be run from one Gaim window

For community college faculty...

We need to understand that these students are more different than many realize. These kids have a high comfort level with technology. Faculty who understand this can really expand their teaching and student engagement by adding even simple technologies like online course notes, web searches and asynchoronous discussions to their courses.


  • Pew Internet & American Life Project found that nearly nine in 10 teens (87 percent) are Internet users. That's 21 million teens ages 12 to 17, up from 73 percent five years ago. By comparison, only about 66 percent of adults use the Internet. A whopping 84 percent of teens reported owning at least one communication device, either a desktop or laptop computer, a cell phone or a personal digital assistant.


The percentage of U.S. Internet users, ages 12-17, who do the following online: 84% - Go to Web sites about movies, TV shows, music groups, sports 76% - Go online to get news or information about current events 75% - Send or receive instant messages 43% - Buy online merchandise 57% - Go online to get information about college 22% - Look for information about a health topic that's hard to talk about 89% - Send or read e-mail 81% - Play online games SOURCE: Pew Internet & American Life Project

  • Students Read Less. Should We Care - A new survey of literary reading in America by the National Endowment for the Arts, Reading At Risk has once again raised the alarm about the cultural decline of America. This one provides the news that we read much less literature, defined as fiction and poetry, than we did some 20 years ago. Indeed, the decline is substantial (10 percent), accelerating and especially worrisome because the malady of literature non-reading particularly afflicts the younger members of society, that critical 18-24 year old group (which shows a 28 percent decline in this survey). The college students who now show up in my classroom come with an informational sophistication unimaginable in my generation. They find what they want, they use what they find, and they discard immense amounts of information made available to them.
  • Aldrich, C. (2004). Simulations and the future of learning. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
  • Beck, John C. & Wade, Mitchell (2004). Got Game How the gamer generation is reshaping business forever. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Castells, Manuel, 1996, The Rise of the Network Society, Cambridge, MA
  • Pew Internet & American Life Project: Education - How educators and students exploit and adapt the Internet for their complete educational environment, including administration, teaching, learning, research, and communication.
  • Pew Internet & American Life Project: Family, Friends & Community - How the Internet affects the groups where we live and work, including how they grow and change, their social dynamics, and the activities we do there.
  • Blog about SEO stuff. News and SEO tips discussion.