What traits and attributes do you want your children to have in 21st Century?

Introduction: Our children are precious, they are our future. If a legacy lies ahead - then what kind of people do we want them to be? If we want them to be ethical, moral, productive and successful citizens, then what kind of skills, attitudes and values do we want them to emulate?

Image adapted fromCC image by Gueorgui Tcherednitchenko
Consideration: Our young people are different now-a-days. This is not new, we have already heard this from the generations before us. But now, we have technology and it means a whole new way of thinking, acting, behaving, socialising, learning, playing and growing up online. But what does this mean? How do our generations see the world differently? We often talk about the different generations having different characteristics and traits. Today's young people are also called, screen-agers, the net generation or gen X, Y and Z? So, what kind of character traits are we talking about for the next generation?

"We are all products of our environment—and technology is an increasingly important part of that environment. Few generalizations are entirely correct. However, generalizations —such as those about generations —highlight trends. Today's generations can be described as follows."
Taken directly from http://www.educause.edu/Resources/EducatingtheNetGeneration/IsItAgeorITFirstStepsTowardUnd/6058

Generation definition

Generation X is the generation generally defined as those born after the baby boom ended, and hence sometimes referred to as Baby Busters with earliest birth dates seen used by researchers ranging from 1961 to the latest 1981 at its greatest extent.

Generation Y is also known as Generation Next, Millennials, or Echo Boomers. The earliest suggested birth dates ranging from mid to late 1970s to the latest in the early 2000s. Today, many follow William Strauss and Neil Howe's theories in defining the Millennials. They use the start year as 1982, and end years around the turn of the millennium.

Generation Z also known as Generation I or Internet Generation, and dubbed the "Digital Natives," is the following generation. The earliest birth is generally dated in the early 1990s.
Taken directly from
Wikipedia - Generation

Our kids see the world in a very different way. As they get older, "we also need continuously to come to grips that something else in their lives is simply more compelling than we are." - their peers. And as they grow and mature, their peer group will have more influence on their thinking and behaviour than we will, as their parents. This includes how they interact and communicate online. "That’s why, rather than trying to put barriers on what kids can do with technology...we need for them to discuss possible problems and consequences with their peers and with adults who will encourage positive behavior." http://www.powertolearn.com/articles/parenting_with_technology/article.shtml?ID=73

Our children have grown up with technology, it is all around them - at home and at school. Some say, this changes the way they see the world. Understanding Digital Children (DKs) – Teaching and Learning in the new Digital Landscape . Here is one quote from this paper.

In fact, based on what we now know from the neurosciences and psychological sciences, what we’re now beginning to understand is that children today are FUNDAMENTALLY different than we are in the way they think, in the way they access, absorb, interpret, process and use information, and in the way they view, interact, and communicate in the modern world because of their experiences with digital technologies. If this is the case, it holds profound implications for all of us personally and professionally.

Ian Jukes and Anita Dosaj- pg 15

The Internet now is more about connectivity, the abilty to read and write, publish, connect and communcaite. It is more a two-way than a one-way street. This means more readily available opportunities for our young people to connect with 'friends' online. This changes the way they communicate with others and the implications for this are huge.

Suggestion: If you want to know more about the young people in a digital age, then go to Digital citizenship and cybersafety - Understanding today's students. If you want to know more about the norms of appropriate, responsible and ethical behaviour with regards to technology use then go to Digital citizenship and cybersafety - What is digital citizenship. Schools are committed to ensuring our young people become moral, ethical and responsible citizens in the 21st Century. For more on the competencies for life-long learners, go to Key Competencies in a digital age.

Subject Author Replies Views Last Message
Next generation tessagray tessagray 0 112 Oct 13, 2010 by tessagray tessagray

Additional Resources to consider

Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens by Nancy Willard

Veterans, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z - Understanding the Different Generations and Their Characteristics


Generations X,Y, Z and the Others
William J. Schroer