Monday, June 18, 2012

Millennials Not So Tech Savvy After All?

I don't think so!

Student at Medical Stimulation Lab

Student at Medical Stimulation Lab

Interesting piece by Brian Proffitt Millennials: They Aren’t So Tech Savvy After All. The article focuses on productivity applications and references two applications/skills in particular – spreadsheets and basic HTML coding. What's wrong with this analysis is that it focuses on old world skills. Spreadsheets? Really? Our students have a wealth of untapped skills – digital content creation (audio, video, photos), impressive search skills, crafting webpages (Tumblr and Facebook) and social networking. While I don't don't dispute that there are tech skills our students need that they don't have, I don't think it's spreadsheets and HTML coding. Instead, I think we should focus on giving them increased competency in information security, privacy, troubleshooting systems and a little bit of networking and computer repair. So let's put the spreadsheets on the shelf, tap into the digital skills our students already have, and focus on the tech skills they really need!

Conventional wisdom has it that kids and young adults now coming of age have been so steeped in everything from video games to social networking that they bring amazing new technology skills to the workforce. The truth may not be so rosy.

Even as millennials (those born and raised around the turn of the century) enter college with far more exposure to computer and mobile technology than their parents ever did, professors are increasingly finding that their students' comfort zone is often limited to social media and Internet apps that don’t do much in the way of productivity. One professor at the University of Notre Dame, for example, reports that many of his students don't even know how to navigate menus in productivity applications.

Photo by Tulane Public Relations -


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