I attended my 20 year school reunion last week. A really fantastic night meeting a lot of people I hadn’t seen over the intervening period and whom, bar more weight and less hair, had not changed in the intervening period.
Late in the evening I was talking to a young man attending the event and he asked me what year I had left the school. I replied and he asked me if I wanted to be depressed. Due to the effects of alchohol I nodded and he told me that that was the year he was born and that this was his second year at the reunion.
This getting older stuff is hard.
I also gave a talk to a group of Masters students this week.
It was very interesting. They all view social networking (and their pages) as something they use a lot right now, but also something that’s transient. They don’t see their pages on these sites as something they’ll always have. They believe they’ll move on.
I was talking to the group about the concept of Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants.
Interestingly they don’t see themselves as digital natives, but believe that the next wave of new students, just coming to college now, will be.
My favourite Digital Native cartoon – from the Cincinnati Enquirer, courtesy of Kevin Dugan
Of course the students of today are the mainstream audience of tomorrow, so understanding how they share, find, and use information is important to anyone interested in communicating with them.
The University of Melbourne has published a paper titled: "First year students’ experience with technology: Are they really digital natives?" . It’s an interesting look at the changes in how students are using all types of technology.
Expect more changes.