November 13, 2006

Are you your student’s pet?

These are the future, my friends. They’re here and living among us. They’re not very interested in us, and I’m not sure I blame them. The best we can hope for is that one day they may keep us as pets.

This article via David Warlick via Ewan is dealing more with the irrelevance of today’s newspapers but substitute the word newspaper for school and editor to teacher and it’s pretty telling.

They buy music from the iTunes store – but continue to download tracks illicitly as well. They use BitTorrent to get US editions of Lost. They think ‘Google’ is a synonym for ‘research’ and regard it as quite normal to maintain and read blogs (55 million as of last night), use Skype to talk to their mates and upload photos to Flickr. Some even write entries on Wikipedia. And they know how to use iMovie or Adobe Premiere to edit videos and upload them to YouTube.

Now look round the average British newsroom (staff room). How many hacks have a Flickr account or a MySpace profile? How many sub-editors (teachers) have ever uploaded a video to YouTube? How many editors (teachers) have used BitTorrent? (How many know what BitTorrent is?)

Looks like Prensky material. We’ve got a long way to go. It’s noteworthy that the business world, the traditional newspaper is realizing that they are missing a critical demographic. But for them, it’s only one demographic. For us, it’s our only demographic.