“Lack of relevance.” Really???

This quote from 2.3, Lack of relevance, struck me:

“Baby Boomers preferred some face-to-face encounters with their instructors; Generation X students reported substantial, pointless interaction in class, and the Net Gen students felt that the interaction mechanisms designed by their instructors were much less adequate than their personal technologies.”

Weller is suggesting here that f2f encounters are less relevant to our students now than they were to many of us as students.  Gosh.   Do we agree?  If so, are we willing to accept it?  I’ve taught online (ok…just once), and “even there” I worked to interact with my students, and I worked to develop strategies to get my students to interact with each other.  If students’ “personal technologies” are more “adequate” (and “adequate” for what, I have to ask), something is very wrong.  Does this have something to do children learning more from tv and computers because this is where parents put them?  Is the generation now in college less comfortable with interacting with people?  With adults?

I feel that accepting Weller’s statement as accurate (or as inevitable) is equivalent to dumbing down my classes.  I would be admitting defeat.  I want my students…and all college-age students…to become comfortable communicating f2f with others.  They will have to negotiate all kinds of things in their futures, quite possibly whether to wage war.  How viable are “personal technologies” in that situation when war is waged against human lives?


1 thought on ““Lack of relevance.” Really???

  1. Jim Groom

    I personally find these categorical generalizations across generations pretty unproductive on the whole. They serve to create this spectre of cultural movement that might have some bearing in truth, but often differs so radically based on person experience and exposure within a particular setting that it breaks down quicker than it can really help us understand what is happening generationally.


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