Educating the Net Generation

Various authors, EDUCAUSE, Mar 04, 2005
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I read the EDUCAUSE online book, "Educating the Net Generation" through the course of the week. I had highlighted one paper, the final piece in the book, by Chris Dede, giving it a lukewarm review. My feelings about the work as a whole are similar. But how to put such a nebulous feeling into words? Cognitive Dissonance does the work for me. "My contention is that nobody likes being talked down to. The same people who think instant messaging is disruptive and who don’t like answering email on weekends are the ones who are designing and driving these online classes." And I wonder how much influence this sort of thinking had over the design of this book, from the carefully selected and well-schooled students perfectly trained to use the term "Greatest Generation" as though they meant it to the "a ha!" feeling exhibiting by faculty discovering instant messaging. "And you need to feel bad if you think this is new. Maybe a good dose of guilt will get you moving, because we have to become more flexible."
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