Saturday is 'new week' day for OU students so I try to get a good start and spend a few hours studying so that I don't have to play catch up later in the week. The first activity for this week began with some interesting (slightly dry!) summaries of various studies looking at how learners use technology in their learning and whether the very process of learning may be changing as technology offers more and more options. After a few pages of these we get presented with this video by Michael Wesch who also produced this video which I found profoundly helpful - and moving - earlier in H800. At that time I watched a few talks by him on YouTube. He is an inspiring figure.
Anyway - I wish I had watched the video and then read the text-reports. I'm not surprised to find a well made, slickly produced and cleverly devised video to be more engaging than academic reports - what did surprise me was that when I re-read the text summaries of those reports it all made a bit more sense to me. The medium really is key - and that seems to be the foundational point of every conclusion by every researcher in this area.
There is debate over whether 'young people' (Digital Natives, Google Generation, Millennials) are fundamentally different in some way having grown up with technology. What there can be no serious disagreement about is that they are growing up in a world unlike any anyone else ever has grown up in; and that they, possibly more than any generation before them, have seen such profound and massive cultural change and will see more and more of it with each passing year of their lives. A multitude of agencies are trying to catch the attention of this generation with the technology. The agencies have to be cleverer and cleverer because the young people are getting savvier and savvier! Agencies who seek to engage learners with technology to enhance their studies also have to be cleverer and cleverer!