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Like me, you too must have observed the significant differences between today’s young entrant to the workforce and his/her counterpart of more than a decade ago. Do today’s youth strike you as being better informed, more comfortable with technology and more in a hurry? Since their needs and aspirations are different, we would need to use a different approach to engage them.

While thinking of these differences, I came across the “10 Attributes of an Information Age Mindset” by Jason L. Frand, a Professor of Information Systems at the Anderson School at the University of Califronia, Los Angeles. Frand wrote in 2000 of the new age student – one with what he calls The Information Age Mindset

  1. Computers are not technology but a given. … (Students) make the devices work without a manual, without an instruction set.
  2. The Internet is better than TV … Many of our students do believe that everything they need to know is on the Web and it’s free.
  3. Reality is no longer real. (e-mail authorship and even photographs can be manipulated).
  4. Doing is more important than learning … In many disciplines, the half-life of information is measured in months and years…. As our students enter the workforce, the ability to deal with complex and often ambiguous information will be more important than simply knowing a lot of facts or having an accumulation of knowledge.”
  5. Nintendo over logic.
  6. Typing rather than handwriting.
  7. Multitasking way of life.
  8. Staying connected.
  9. Zero tolerance for delays.
  10. Consumer/ creator blurring. In a cut and paste world, distinctions between creator, owner, and consumer of information are fading.

I found this article very interesting and say it is a “must read” for everyone dealing with training/teaching younger people.

All over the world, the focus is shifting from imparting training to encouraging learning and from instructor-led education to learner-centred methodologies. Most organizations now squarely place the responsibility for improving competences on individual employees.

Knowing what appeals to them and how they are attuned to thinking is the first step towards facilitating these transformations.

I quote from Frand’s conclusion ” The challenge will be for educators and higher education institutions to incorporate the information-age mindset of today’s learners into our programs so as to create communities of lifelong learners.”

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This is the 68 th of the “A Step A Day “series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.