As you have learned this week, a number of factors influence the ways in which, and the extent to which, we use technology in our daily lives. Consider your own use of technology. Would you consider yourself to have a “millennial learning style?” Do you use technology freely and with ease in most aspects of your life? Or do you begrudgingly use technology only when you are forced to? What effect, if any, has your use of technology had on the way you learn, or on your educational experiences in general?
I consider myself to have a “millennial learning style”, my whole life revolves around technology and it being a part of my career. I am a Generation X kid, I was raised with the first computers and video games, and grew up with the technology in the 1980’s and 1990’s. I love technology, and am usually one of the first to adopt it. I was on the web before there really was a world wide web, using AOL and CompuServe on my old Mac SE30 in the late 1980’s, using BBB boards, and jumping on the internet in the 1990’s. My first job out of school was coding for the web in 1995, and by the late 1990’s I was an art director for 32 magazine web sites. I had the first Blackberry and Palm Pilot at work, and I am wearing the new Apple watch right now. I love to network and make new connections, so Facebook and other social media tools are a huge part of my life. In Dede’s article on neomillennial learning styles she points out that part of the learning process includes “learning based on collectively seeking, sieving, and synthesizing experiences rather than individually locating and absorbing information from a single best source.” (Dede, 2005) This is a great description of my working and design process I follow when I work on anything. I learned in a linear-analog way while in school, do research, do a draft, then a revision, define from source, and then the finished product. Once I had access to data at my fingertips (even in the early day’s of the web) I was able to read through and absorb different sources, put them together, and distil down my final product. When I teach design I spend a few weeks just on the design process. I place a ton of emphasis on the first step, which is research. I go through how to use Google and all of the resources that we now have to aid in the process, and the newer students jump all over it. The older students take to it slower, but many have the same realization I had when I first jumped on the web, this makes my life easier and I can create more quality work. I feel like I have been able to take my linear way of thinking I learned in the educational system, and move over to a non-linear way, and really appreciate the technology and tools in a way digital natives never can.
Dede, C. (2005). Planning for neomillennial learning styles. Educause Quarterly, 1, 7–12.