The Cloud Generation

Much has been written about Baby Boomers, Generation X and now Generation Y. Defined as 20 to 30 year olds, Gen Y’s rule the cyberskies. They are the first generation of true Digital Natives and Nick Shore, head researcher at MTV, calls their attitudes and beliefs the Millennial Edge, defined by invisible boundaries. They demand quick-twitch media, biting wit and provocative situations. They don’t know where the behavioural lines are because they have never been drawn.

For the most part though, Gen Y has gone through a traditional, paper-based educational system, emerging to live and embrace a loud and busy on-line world. Following right behind is The Cloud Generation, growing up with smart phones in hand and established digital footprints. They arrive at our schools adept at cyber connections and new ways to communicate. How do we accommodate their multi-intelligences and cognitive knowledge, and access their great capacity for deep learning? How can we be more than Ground Control, keeping them safe as they hurtle unguided through the cyber skies?

Let’s just start with the basics. Common Courtesy 101. That’s a clear line we can draw in their cyber-sandbox. Right next to respect, appreciation, acceptance…you get the idea.

Presently throughout the educational world there is much debate about blocking, filtering and restrictions, designed to keep students cybersafe at school, and on task. There is no doubt the home computing environment may be quite different, so we must model appropriate behaviour online while that invisible fence is still in place.

By appropriately connecting with our students, colleagues, parents and community online, we leverage the wonder and possibilities of today’s world. We all live in the cloud. The “C” generation may ultimately not be defined by date of birth. Be careful what you write; your grandmother may be your Friend!

4 Responses to The Cloud Generation

  1. trishinottawa says:

    Well said Barb! As move through my journey, I am constantly made aware of how much I don’t know- but with that comes the amazing amount of learning I am doing. Informal learning at a pace I am comfortable with. I am inspired by the opportunities and the wisdom of those I am fortunate to call my virtual friends and colleagues!!

  2. Thanks Trish. This cloud community is so supportive and your understanding of the pace and opportunities to grow just adds to our colelctive knowledge. And the cool thing is we made that connection f2f at OTF.

  3. swedinbalchik says:

    Hi Barbara, this is very interesting… I’m writing my Thesis Statement and have used the term ‘Net Generation’, but I can see the strong trend of hand-held devices connecting to ‘The Cloud’. I saw a post about ‘Digital Graffiti’ on buildings and locations (It’s an art project, but I think this can develop to annotations/guestbook that visitors leave). Find out more on http://dg.jku.at/

    I posted my thoughts on your comment in: http://swedinbalchik.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/week04-what-makes-connectivism-unique-cck11/comment-page-1/#comment-23

  4. @swedenbalchik Wow! Love how we can make these global connections. I replied at http://swedinbalchik.wordpress.com Interestingly I used the term Generation Next ten years ago, but I think they are now called Gen Y. I also posit that it is just not the youth who are The Cloud Generation. I believe we are all now part of this culture, irregardless of date of birth. Cool post http://dg.jku.at/ though its been a while since I spoke German (here we go again with the language;)

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