I dislike the term “millennial” for a lot of reasons, the most notable being that it promotes an intellectual laziness through which the word becomes synonymous with “young person.” For a lot of 35-year-olds, anyone younger than them is a millennial. That’s not exactly strong taxonomy.
If we’re going to look at generational differences in an intelligent manner (i.e., no mudslinging against lazy millennials and evil baby boomers), it’s important we get on the same page with regard to where Generation Y splits with Generation Z. The latter is made up of what education writer Marc Prensky would call “Digital Natives,” those who never experienced the pre-digital world. Prensky argues that exponential shifts in personal technology need to be met by comparable adjustments in education. You can’t expect to foster effective K-12 education using outdated and analog methods to educate kids raised on digital.
Below is an infographic from the folks at Sungard detailing the evolution of digital technology in the classroom. It maps out what the tech classroom looked like in 2005, looks like now, and should look like in 2025:
(h/t to Anum Yoon)
Of course, it’s foolish to think education happens by giving a kid an iPad and telling her to learn. Dr. Madhav Chavan, CEO of Pratham, explains in the video below that it takes a whole lot more than money and gadgets to foster a strong 21st century education:
Infographic shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Top photo: Andrey_Kuzmin / Shutterstock