Digital Students - Who Are They and Why Are They Different to Previous Generations

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Long before the ‘i-phone’, laptop computer, internet and interactive game console, digital camera, usb stick and hard drive. Before email and text messaging, ‘i-pods’ and CD players there existed a world that was simple.

In this world life flowed to a steady rhythm of routine. Workdays were 9-5, 5 days a week. Dinner times consisted of the whole family sitting around the table conversing on their daily events over a home cooked meal. Family time was something that was both prevalent and valued. After school, on weekends and during holiday’s streets, parks and back gardens were full of children playing together. This is often where they gained most of their social skills and did their creative thinking. Imagination was essential in this world. Children created their own monsters and villains, turned sticks into swords and spent hours riding bikes and simply just pretending. Punishment was being sent to your room because there was nothing else to do in there other than reflect on your wrong doings. Messages were conveyed through letters or the home telephone and keeping in contact with people overseas was either very expensive or lengthy depending on the process. The family home often only had one TV that was generally located in the lounge or family room and only offered a number of limited stations as with the household radio. Information was largely dependent on newspapers, magazines and books and the library was a place to go in order to gain information and knowledge. This was a world primarily made up of text and paper, a world of basic communication, limited information, imagination, patience and where family needs were at the top of the priority list.

However over time this world changed. The demands to make ends meat became greater. Parents had to work longer hours and children were left more and more on their own, creating a void in their lives. Concerns for safety were rising and children were no longer encouraged to play outside. Whilst the...
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