… that, like the Millennials in this report (RWW) who are often successfully dictating to their IT departments what type of technology they want to make use of to communicate for business (often in ways that are similar to those used for pleasure). This new generation of employee seems to have little regard to privacy (as we’ve seen and read many times before) and are often ignorant of IT policies (likely leading to much of this “end running”). So with this generation entering the prime of their career at the front end and somewhere within their first post-secondary degree/diploma, it seems that there is only 5-6 years max before we see another massive disruptive force starting to come through our schools – the children of the Millennials are going to be entering kindergarten and those children as likely as not will have many of the same attitudes toward technology as their parents, and will certainly be raised with them. So while the education system may buy itself a few years with the comfort that kids in k-3 are more interested in playing in the sand as opposed to silicon, this won’t last. As soon as we ask them to start to gather information on their own, it will be game over for the old guard of school IT as well.
With any luck, many of the techno-phobic practices of the more senior teachers will have faded by the time these students are moving through and ideally, there will be some revisioning of curriculum to include the technologies that are, if not current, basic to the age group. The problem with this is that by the time these technologies and media sources are identified and sent to the government in charge of “blessing” it to be a valid curricular resource, the technology will have changed. But assuming that the government changes to allow the teachers on the ground to choose based on their professional opinion what technologies are sound, what could those technologies be? Certainly there will be some element of social networking, there will be some manner of instant communication and some element of sharing. But just as the parents of these kids are/will be working around their corporate IT, will these kids? I think so. @courosa pointed out in a tweet last night:
w/ citizens creating proxies for Iranian citizens, & many tutorials provided, I bet students using their own proxies in schools will rise.
and why not? We want our children to grow up to be responsible and good citizens right? Part of that means that they should have the strength be able to help those in need, how they can and to make sure that they alert others of injustice. Right? So if we want them to be able to do like so many are doing for those in Iran right now, we would be foolish to think that this would not happen in schools.
Clay Shirky (from an interview with Chris Anderson related to the post from yesterday) mentions:
What do you make of what’s going on in Iran right now.
I’m always a little reticent to draw lessons from things still unfolding, but it seems pretty clear that … this is it. The big one. This is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Chicago demonstrations of 1968 where they chanted “the whole world is watching.” Really, that wasn’t true then. But this time it’s true … and people throughout the world are not only listening but responding. They’re engaging with individual participants, they’re passing on their messages to their friends, and they’re even providing detailed instructions to enable web proxies allowing Internet access that the authorities can’t immediately censor. That kind of participation is reallly extraordinary.
Which services have caused the greatest impact? Blogs? Facebook? Twitter?
It’s Twitter. One thing that Evan (Williams) and Biz (Stone) did absolutely right is that they made Twitter so simple and so open that it’s easier to integrate and harder to control than any other tool. At the time, I’m sure it wasn’t conceived as anything other than a smart engineering choice. But it’s had global consequences. Twitter is shareable and open and participatory in a way that Facebook’s model prevents. So far, despite a massive effort, the authorities have found no way to shut it down, and now there are literally thousands of people aorund the world who’ve made it their business to help keep it open.
Kids growing up digital now seem to be doing so in an environment that is open, and engaged. To think that traditional IT practices and methods will contain them is just asking for trouble, kids are already getting around school IT and it would seem that it is only going to continue.