Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Twitch speed - reaching younger workers who think differently

By Marc Prensky

“Every parent, educator, and manager knows that "Nintendo children"--those born after 1970 and raised on video and computer games, Walkmans, the Internet, etc.--are different. Unfortunately, the Gen-X discussion has focused mainly on the youths' supposedly short attention spans and attention-deficit disorders, ignoring or underemphasizing what is perhaps the most crucial factor--that this under-30 generation thinks, and sees the world, in ways entirely different from their parents.

…Speedwise, we effectively give them depressants. And then we wonder why they're bored.…

technology has emphasized and reinforced certain cognitive aspects and de-emphasized others. Most of these changes in cognitive style are positive. But however one feels, it's important that managers (as well as educators and parents) recognize that these changes exist so that we can deal with the younger generation effectively.Below are 10 of the main cognitive style changes, which raise a number of important and difficult challenges. We have already begun to see the development of new business structures, ideas, and products that take into account under-30 employees' cognitive changes and preferences. It is likely that the full impact of these changes will not be felt until the younger generation fully comes to power, just as the movies were impacted by the coming-of-age of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. That time is not far off…. “

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