Making friends with the new age learner
A Guru once told me that those who do not adapt will perish and supplemented his speech with a slide that showed a dinosaur !
The world is changing every day, every hour and every minute. New gadgets with updated technology and their outcome creates a new environment. The image of a typical modern day kid is that of the one sitting with a laptop or a tablet, surfing for all the information that strikes as interesting.
Google is now a way of life. The child does not wonder where Google gets all the information from, but like an adult - simply uses it. Our children are the first generation of computer users for whom the computers are a part of the their home appliances. According to a study, on an average, children spend 6 to 8 hours a day with digital media. That is not all; technology is not the only thing that defines today’s child !
If you want to know your child better, then you will notice that he or she is more social and group oriented, networking constantly due to the boom in communication and social media .Children today use social media to share information and help out one another. Somewhere, it helps them to build their identity by joining various groups and online organizations. As a result of exposure to various communities and information on the net, today’s children are more tolerant with greater acceptance for people of varied cultural backgrounds. They aim to be global citizens, reaching out with ease and a desire to see and learn more.
The ability to make a choice is also a characteristic that defines the Gen Y. With a variety of options available from food to the medium of learning, they like to decide what makes them happy. They definitely like to be in control, which comes from their ability to make choices about what meets their requirement; be it a book from the library or its digital version, a lecture or online research. All this is just a click away.
It is for the educators and parents to understand this new generation and adapt to its needs for a successful teaching - learning programme. Project based learning is based on the children’s social needs and the ability to collaborate and share information. The execution of the project leads to acquiring the power to be in control of information and choice of media usage. The continuous exposure to meet students of other countries by way of student exchange programme helps in broadening their horizons.
The children of today are also exposed to the uncertainty and terror threats. This is where parents or teachers need to mentor and guide so that these children remain optimistic and determined towards positive change.
They value family and friends and know how best to use their free time to get most out of life!
So let us adapt ourselves to the needs of the Gen-Y.
Ms. Sunita Jaisingh, National Head- Academics, GIIS India