Generation C, the Connected Generation, is the generation that we need to think about. This population is the future of tomorrow and is being educated now.
What defines Gen-C is still up in the air as it is still very new. However, I like this definition given by About.com, those who can be categorized as Gen-C share a similar state of mind:
1. A love for content creation and ‘mashing’
2. The tendency to create active communities instead of passive ones
3. A want to participate in discussions and share information (Social Media)
4. A desire to be in control of their own lives
5. A desire to work in more creative industries and be less restricted by rigid social structures
These traits might make it hard for these students to succeed in the current curriculum. Current teachers might call these students distracted or lazy because they are too busy editing their YouTube videos rather than spending their time memorizing the capitals of every country. However, it is clear that they have plenty of energy and that they are ready to be creative. Instead of becoming frustrated at them, giving them a red card and canceling recess, we should ask ourselves: how can we adequately use these traits?
These students don’t want to sit in a desk to have teachers talk at them. They want to participate and be active in their own learning. This desire should not be overlooked. They are motivated to learn. However, the traditional classroom would seem boring to them as they passively sit, listen and hopefully absorb information.
These students want to be able to do things for themselves. Lets give them that space:
– create an environment for learning and then set them loose; allow them to figure things out on their own and problem solve
– teachers, be their guides: offer them help and advice; allow them to practice their creativity and problem solving instead of telling them what creativity is supposed to look like
– let them make something