Growing Up Digital [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Don Tapscott
eBook Category: Technology/Science
eBook Description: This ground-breaking book not only introduced the phrase "the Net Generation" to our language, but brilliantly defined why the future will be ruled by Net Culture. Tapscott clearly illustrates all the ways in which the Net Generation will influence the future. His positioning of this group helped inspire many leading companies including Hewlett-Packard to rethink their business strategies. Like HP, any company that wants to succeed will have to reach the Net Generation now--and this is the book that explains who they are and how they're reshaping the way the world works, plays, learns, and does business.
eBook Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, Published: 2001
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2002
1 Reader Ratings:
One of the great stories of the dawn of the new millennium will be the ascendancy to power of the Net Generation.
More than 88 million strong, these youngsters are the biggest demographic group in the United States and Canada. The oldest of this generation are now entering the labor market, bringing with them their profoundly different notions of work, reward, responsibility, and collaboration. Soon this generation will be assuming positions of growing influence in the business, political, and cultural arenas. Their comfort with the new media, and their mastery at its exploitation, guarantees that this generation will be an increasingly powerful voice in all debates. Ultimately, of course, it will become the dominant voice -- dominating the 21st century.
Since writing the book I have continued to meet new youngsters and learn from them. One is 16-year-old Michael Furdyk, who worked on growingupdigital.com. Michael and several collegues of his have developed their own Net environment -- the mydesktop.com network, which evaluates and discusses technology (http://www.mydesktop.com). Their site receives 20 million hits per month, making this group more influential on the Web than many Fortune 500 companies, many national governments, and many media empires.
Michael embodies one of the book's central points. For the first time in history youth are an authority on an innovation central to society's development. We can learn from him and his generation. And they are an unprecedented force for change.
We wonder how big e-commerce will be? How fast will technology change the schools, firms, governments, society? It's as if we've all been sitting on the beach wondering what kind of day it's going to be -- and no one noticed the tsunami just off the horizon.
Imagine being Michael's teacher. He and his generation know more about arguably the most important development in learning ever.
Imagine being Michael's employer. Michael has grown up in a culture of innovation, collaboration, and networking, which will replace the culture of the traditional firm.
Imagine Michael as a consumer. He'll purchase his first car online. He'll shop for many things -- from groceries to his first mortgage -- on the Net. He'll change our thinking about the brand, advertising, the establishment of prices, and most of what is known about merchandising.
Imagine Michael as a citizen. Will he settle for our current models of democracy and citizen participation?
Overall, reaction to the book has been very heartening, with positive reviews and best-seller sales. The book was Amazon.com's first-ever best seller in nonfiction. It has been the focus of many newspaper and magazine articles and radio and television shows. The book has been translated (or is in the process of being translated) into 14 languages.
One pleasant surprise is that tens of thousands of teachers and educators have bought the book. I have received many e-mails describing how it is being used as the basis for changing a class or school. Teaching is becoming a less unidirectional process and much more collaborative and heuristic. The feedback I am getting tells me that teachers view this as a more stimulating and satisfying model.
Since writing the book I've heard many tales of students and teachers working together to implement technology in the classroom and more important new models of learning. All this gives evidence to the view that one of the most powerful forces to change the schools is the students themselves.
On a more commercial note, companies are beginning to understand the importance of the Net Generation. Procter & Gamble has implemented a "reverse mentoring" program where employees are mentored by youngsters. (My son recently gave a presentation to a P&G marketing executive regarding what "the soap opera of the future" would be like.)
Even Madison Avenue is catching on. Hardly a day goes by that I don't see a new commercial predicated on the notion that youngsters are far more computer-literate than their parents. A recent SouthWest Airline commercial has a senior executive dictating his hectic itinerary for an upcoming business trip. As the camera view widens, we see that he is actually talking to his very young son, who is making all the flight, hotel, and car rental reservations over the Web. Presumably Dad doesn't know how.
Certainly there has been some criticism of the book. I am the first to admit there are thorns on this rose. This includes the threat to privacy, the digital divide where some kids have access to the technology and others do not, the problems of pornography and its flip side censorship -- to name a few. However, my views on these issues -- all discussed in the book -- remain unchanged.
One tricky area is video games, where many parents have expressed legitimate concern about how their kids use their time and about the violent content of some games. Parents, of course, need to ensure that their children have balance in their lives. The evidence is strong that some kids can become very focused on video games at the expense of other activities. Evidence about the effects of violent games is inconclusive, but parents should ensure their children access to age-appropriate content. The good news here is that video games are becoming multiuser, networked, and rich in plot and character development.
But I want to draw a clear distinction between my optimism and what I would see as complacency. One reason I wrote the book was to sound an alarm about a very uncertain future. Many forces shape our society and an uninformed attitude to the new digital technologies and the new generation may result in us squandering a magnificent opportunity.
We should remember that the future is not something that is predicted, but rather is a goal to be achieved.
I welcome your views and stories at www.growingupdigital.com. There is a lively and, I think, important discussion underway.
-- Don Tapscott
Copyright © 1998 by Don Tapscott