Speaking their digital language

David Warlick posted about an e-mail he received from Scott Mooney: In the room were 20 or so 19-20 year-olds, most with their own laptops, mobile phones, iPods, living in the world that we talk about all the time. During my talk, I brought up the present and future of modern tools, such as Web 2.0 and virtual worlds. I thought their eyes would light up, like I was now talking their language. In reality, you could hear a pin drop in that room. I was confused, so I asked if anyone in the room had blogged. No one. I asked if anyone knew what a wiki was. No one. I asked if anyone knew what Second Life was. No one. Our digital language is Web 2.0. But to our students these are not web 2.0 tools…it’s just the web. I love listening in on student conversations to hear about the latest and greatest things in their lives. Don’t ask students if they know what Web 2.0 is. Ask them if they know Facebook. Which is web 2.0 but they do not need to label it that, no they just call it what it is. Web 2.0 is a label that we use to describe these tools not their label. There label is “cool!” Second Life is an interesting one. I wonder what the average age of people in Second Life is? I would venture to say that other than University students who have to go there because their university is in world that the average age is closer to 30 rather than 20. Why is this? Second Life is only different from their games and connected gaming consoles in the fact that there is nothing you are trying to complete. Don’t ask 19 and 20 year olds if they know of Second Life. Ask them if they know of Halo 3, Sims, Grand Turismo or any Xbox 360 Live game in which you connect with others around the world and either play with them or against them. Ask them if they know of World of Warcraft. There is no reason for them to know of Second Life. We like Second Life because it doesn’t have a gaming aspect…they don’t know about it because it doesn’t. Is it really that strange that many 19 and 20 year olds don’t blog? Of course they blog…they just don’t see it as...

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