Welcome to the final post in our blog series – “Education & Technology – Relationship Status“. We’ve examined the impact of teaching with technology both from faculty and mentor points of view. We also addressed the impact of technology on professional learning and student learning. Closing the series, let’s take a look at how the relationship status with education and technology has affected certain populations of students – baby boomers, millennials, and gen alpha.
All generations are affected by technology. Perhaps a bit differently, but still impacted nonetheless. No matter with which generation you identify, chances are very strong that you have either learned something new regarding technology or you are choosing to ignore it very recently. How many times has this happened in the last 7 days? Technology gives baby boomers hope, millennials opportunity, and gen alpha (born after 2010 with an iPad or electronic device in-hand) the ability to impact the life of their own grandchildren.
Technology gives baby boomers hope. As they are aging and caring for aging parents, they have access to a wealth of knowledge to learn exactly what is going on and how to fix it. They are empowered and feel less likely to fall victim to scams and such. They are going online to compare prices and read reviews of the best appliances. For those who are not intimidated by it, baby boomers are taking to the internet to educate themselves on issues that concern them.
While millennials use technology strictly for opportunity. Whether they are looking for the next best deal, starting their own company, or creating a new social platform, millennials are using technology to fit the molds they are creating. Sometimes in real time. Google is to millennials what encyclopedias and card catalogs were to baby boomers. They are authoring their own stories, making up rules as they go, and creating devices and next gen technology to support their ideals.
Enter gen alpha who practically emerged from the womb with a device in one hand AND in the other. They have exchanged pacifiers and blankies for the glow of the screen. Baby boomers and maybe even some millennials will joke about them having no idea what it is like to work hard for something. However, it will never be fair for any of us to hold them responsible for that reality. After all, everything will come to them at the speed of light. Waiting will be a concept that they continue to find a way around. Technology won’t facilitate their ideas, rather it will be their ideas.
As is the case with all generalities, there will be exceptions. Those individuals who choose to contribute to the greater good of their generation will be successful in anything they choose to do. There is no doubt, however, technology will play a greater role than ever in that success!