Don Tapscott on the Net Generation

A useful interview for educators on CBC’s Spark this week. Nora Young talks with Don Tapscott (author of Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything). Tapscott talks about his book Grown Up Digital about the Net Generation and how their brains are being rewired to live in a digital world.

The interview that airs on the program is interesting, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to Spark embracing transparency (which is, coincidentally, one of the concepts that Tapscott says is vitally important to Net Gen’ers), you can spend a worthwhile 20+ minutes to listen to the full unedited audio interview.

For example, one of the stories Tapscott told that resonated with me was edited out of the final show is the story of Joe O’Shea, a 22 year old Rhodes Scholar from Florida State University who doesn’t read books. Imagine how ridiculous that statement would have sounded 10 years ago – a Rhodes Scholar studying Philosophy at Oxford who does not read books. As Tapscott correctly points out, THAT is disruptive and more than a little disconcerting to many educators.

He also has some choice words to say about how the net generation learns and what institutions need to do to meet the challenges.

The lecture is becoming defunct because it is a bad model of pedagogy. It’s not how young people learn. We need to move to interactive, self paced learning where students get to collaborate in the learning process.

You can read more of Don’s thoughts on education and the Net Generation at his blog.