With the present generation living within a virtually driven society, it's interesting to see the evolution of a student's learning process. As students are now constantly exposed to different forms of social media, it has become possible for these individuals to thoroughly integrate these aspects of communication into their learning techniques.
Through all of this, it’s important to try and understand what makes today’s students tick. And who better than trendspotter extraordinaire, Jeremy Gutsche, BComm’00, author of Exploiting Chaos, 150 ways to spark innovation during times of change. Gutsche says kids these days communicate in radically different ways from recent grads, let alone their parents. "You’re talking about a group that’s trained to be 10 times better at multi-tasking—a factor that should immediately get people to open their eyes and realize ‘wow, the world’s really quite different’."
Gutsche, the 2010 recipient of the U of C Alumni Association’s Graduate of the Last Decade Award, says today’s students are able to consume massive amounts of information in bite-sized pieces. This means rather than long papers and in-depth articles, they deal in blog entries, headlines and tweets. "They can actually synthesize all these different bits of information better than their teachers or other students that came before."
Thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, students can become very connected to like-minded groups and leaders in their field from all over the planet—in a way that previous generations couldn’t have possibly dreamed. "If you were an electrical engineer, you might find the blog of an established, well-known engineer doing the exact type of work you really enjoy," says Gutsche. "You become a follower and regularly comment on all of their projects. Then when it comes time to do your master’s degree, you might find that the famous engineer wants you on his team because he already knows you. This is the new way of education and there are a lot of ways we could take advantage of it."