Web 2.0 and Emerging Learning Technologies/Next Generation

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The Next Generation of Learners[edit | edit source]

Who Fits This Mode?[edit | edit source]

We live in a society of the advanced technology while facing a series of technological evolution. In the book, The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman, he mentioned that during his time, if the children didn't eat food, parents would say that many Africans have no food to eat, you have to finish it. But, now in the Information Age[1], if the child does not study hard, the parent warns that a Chinese and Indian child will surpass them and take away some future career.

Remember that a support call (1-800-XXX-XXXX) can be diverted to any part of the world. Currently, many U.S. firms are outsourcing their support department to other parts of the world, using Skype[1][2][3]. The borders of the world are beginning to melt away as the internet brings us all a few keystrokes away from the information we need. Our educational system must change to meet the needs of today's learners.

First we must consider the type of learner that we are trying to instruct. This TeacherTube video gives a good profile of today’s students: http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=40c570a322f1b0b65909&page=1&viewtype=&category=tr[4]. Related to all the factors given in the video, people call this new generation by a diverse set of names, such as Generation Xw:Generation X, Generation Yw:Generation Y, Nestersw:Nester, and the Internet Generationw:Internet generation. YouTube is an online free video sharing website. Here, I call them the Net Generation based on a definition from Tapscott’s Growing Up Digital book[5].

Much has been written about describing the characteristics of the Net Generation, but who are they and how do they differ from the former generations. Oblinger and Oblinger (2005) described that “Net generation learners -- students who were born in the 1980s and later” (p. 1.2)[6]. It should be emphasized that most of the claims about this generation are not based on empirical research. Instead, they are speculative in nature or based on anecdotal observations. Sue Bennett, Karl Maton and Lisa Kervin have written an excellent review of the net generation literature that was published in the British Journal of Educational Technology http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/bjet/2008/00000039/00000005/art00002. There is a blog that is attempting to promote a more informed and evidence-based discussion of the generational issue and its relevance to post secondary education: http://netgennonsense.blogspot.com/

Claims about the Net Generation can be sorted into two categories. One of them is describing their learning styles, and the other is focusing on their lifestyles. Both styles will affect the students’ ways of learning.

Learning styles:

1. Learn from Experimentation. Billings (2004) stated that the Net Generations like to discover new things and learn from hands-on experiences (p. 104)[7]. They prefer learning by doing rather than being told what to do or reading static books. These students are able to intuitively use a variety of IT devices & browse the Internet. They like to tinker with the up-to-date electronic gadgets, such as iPods, MP3 players, and cell phones. These students like that because they can touch and play with these devices. They also like to explore the Internet to learn something new, to make new friends[8], to make your own photo album[9], or to learn a new tools for blogging[10] and more. They enjoy learning through self-discovery and taking the initiative to learn new tools.

2. Prefer visual learning. Due to the prevalence of technology in their lives as they developed, the Net Generation feels comfortable in the media-rich environment, surrounded by different kinds of digital devices such as computers, LCD projectors, PDAs, iPods, MP4 and iPhones. Living in this multimedia environment, the Net generations exposes themselves to the interactive computer games and movies, whether they are at home or at school. TV and computers provide rich visual effects which has resulted in them becoming more accustomed to receiving input in this mode. Oblinger and Oblinger (2005) stated that “the Net generations’ text literacy may be less well developed than previous generations (p. 2.5).”

When the Net Generation looks for information online, not only will they try different search engines (like Google and Yahoo), but they also search for interactive materials from YouTube.com. Net generations use RSS, Really Simple Syndication, which allows users to choose to receive "feeds" or "newsfeeds" from blogs, news services, and other websites (p. 23)[11]. This generation is comfortable with Google's Adsense, which is a service that delivers advertisements to a searcher based on the content of that person’s searches[12].

At times the separation between virtual reality and reality is not as well-defined for these Net generation students. Linden-virtual money in Second Life might be hard to differentiate from real money, especially when there is an established exchange rate[13] Anshe Chung is the richest person in Second Life, while CNN plans to open an I-Report hub in Second Life [14]. They are fond of learning from latest visual aids and are comfortable with the sound effects whenever they update their information. Net Generations also like to create Avatar roles on the Internet[15]. An avatar is a virtual representation of a person created for use in online spaces such as Second Life or computer games. Many people often have several avatars and may elect to use different avatars depending on the setting. It is also important to note that an avatar need not be an actual representation of how the person looks in physical world.

From the educator’s perspective, using hard copy books might not be effective for arousing the Net Generation’s attention and interest in learning. Instead, they may prefer to search the Internet for more interactive materials from sites such as YouTube.com.

In this sense, the visual learning style that the Net Generation prefers is shaped by the culture and the environment of developed and developing countries, because society exposes them to a media-rich environment every day. On the Internet, they also do not feel as lonely, because they can interact with a group of people with the similar interests. For example in YouTube, it is possible to connect with someone by simply clicking on the person’s profile and viewing their favorite video clip[16]. Additionally, under the permalinkw:Permalink, one can see the link to this video and from there can explore more videos. Thus, connections and community can be fostered through the use of these types of rapid, convenient social-networking tools.

3. Like to work in groups. The Net Generation enjoys working on teams with peers, using collaborative tools like Google Apps[17]. In general, these students are more likely to prefer learning in a supportive environment with teamwork. An activity, such as a Wiki project, that can be undertaken with their instructors and peers, is probably preferred by the Net Generation more than an individual assignment.

This learning characteristic fits Vygotsky’s zone of proximal growth theory. Lefrancois (1997) explained that Vygotsky’s zone of proximal growth was defined “the individual’s current potential for further intellectual development (p. 98).” The Net Generations like to build up their learning by working with peers, because the slower learners are supported by the fast learners, and they learn by scaffolding the knowledge from each other. If learning is taken as to be an individual task without support from peers, more students will be left behind. As a result, the Net Generation fits Vygotsky’s scaffolding theory, because most of them like to work in groups with their classmates. They gain confidence and support when cooperating with peers, and they scaffold knowledge together. Learning is not only for the individual. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you do not understand when you first learn something new; rather, they like to share their experiences in groups. Google has developed many innovative applications to create a good working environment for these learners[18].

4. Have short attention spans and multi-task well. The media-rich environment that the Net Generation has become accustomed to appears to have shortened their attention span. If you ask them to work on the same thing for hours, it would probably overwhelm or frustrate them. They will probably enjoy the activities more if they can get several things done simultaneously, because they can usually shift attention rapidly from one task to another. They are generally able to multi-task better than their parents and can split their attention between different activities. Oblinger and Oblinger (2005) observed that “They like to parallel process and multi-task…. They thrive on immediate gratification” (p. 2.14). Thus, an instructor should not be surprised by seeing a student listening to music, surfing the Internet, and talking to friends on the phone while doing homework. These diverse activities are all part of the Net Generations’ daily lives.

5. Edutainment. The word “Edutainment” is a combination of two words: education and entertainment, which refers to educational entertainment or entertaining education. Content of product provides user with specific skills development or reinforcement learning within an entertainment setting. Think about what happen when education is combined with entertainment. According to Wikipedia, “Edutainment typically seeks to instruct or socialize its audience by embedding lessons in some familiar form of entertainment: television programs, computer and video games, films, music, websites, multimedia software, etc.”

Compared to the older generations’ perspectives towards education, the Net Generation believes that learning has nothing to do with teachers’ authority. Instead, learning is considered interactive and involves fun activities. They prefer teachers infusing games and activities into the curricula. Shih & Hung (2007) stated that from the Net generations’ perspective, learning can be easier and more interesting (p. 20). Teachers cannot keep students’ attention by teaching them from a content-only curriculum. Integrating games into education seems to be an up-to-date and interactive way to increase students’ interests and enhance their motivation. Additionally,students are more engaged in sharing ideas among them.

Recently, more educators have supplemented standard curricula with simulations and games as supplementary. They discovered that these enhancements have increased students learning interests and motivated them to engage in the learning content.

Education should bring positive influences to students with the entertaining activities. For example, the Korea Game Academy is an affiliated organization of the Korea Game Development & Promotion Institute, a public institute dedicated to the growth of the game industry and game education in Korea[19].

6. Copy & Paste. For the Net Generation, almost all content can be copied and pasted or cut and pasted from the Internet. Though this ability is a convenience over typing or creating other forms of content, it can lead to issues of plagiarism.

7. Agree on life-long learning, E-,U- and M-learning. Pursuing knowledge and degree is not the only the privilege for teenagers to doctoral students. The concept of continuous education and life-long learning has become more common to the Net Generation. They are curious, and these students like to learn and consider new ideas. What they have learned is not unchangeable or stagnant, and they perceive knowledge as not being static. They keep updating and constructing knowledge and keep abreast of trends and current issues. Furthermore, the Net Generation prefers to individualize and customize their learning environment according to their current needs.

The term U-learning stands for ubiquitous learning, which can occur anytime, anywhere. Unlimited learning is another way to consider the word U-learning. In the past, people might have thought that once they have finished their education, they were done with school and were free to get into the real world. However, living in the Information Age, people are eager to learn more than before, and this is particularly true of the Net Generation. One example of the great potential of U-learning is the fact that MIT now offers free online course materials[20].

The world keeps progressing and so do the young Net Generations. Therefore, E-learning and U-learning are right to fit their specialized desires and needs, because they are able to pace themselves in learning without perceiving the constraints of place and time. There is little doubt that in the future, learning solutions and services will be integrated into a whole host of mobile devices. “These devices can take the form of handheld computers or personal digital assistants, mobile phones including the new Smartphone, iPods... video players... Tablet PCs, and even wearable devices. They can be connected through a desktop, a laptop, or a network, either wired or wireless" (retrieved December 6, 2007, from http://adlcommunity.net/mod/wiki/view.php?id=142&page=Mobile+or+Ubiquitous+Learning).

Lifestyles or Living Styles:

1. Are always “on” connectivity. The Net Generation is connected by cell phones and computers. In fact, their cell phones and computers are usually on, and they fear missing calls and messages. In addition, they are wired by using MSN, Yahoo messenger, AOL, and Skype to chat with their friends, regardless of their location. This group generally feels comfortable living in virtual communities like Second Life, being connected by the means listed above and being reached by their friends at all times of day or night. They seem unable to eliminate the social networking from their lives. They also have several ways to connect wirelessly, including Bluetooth[21] .

2. Prefer Googling than going to the library. Whenever the Net Generations need information, their initial search is most likely to “Google” the information. Going to the library is not close to the top of their choices. From the Net Generation's perspective, it is faster and more efficient to find information online, including searching for the terms and explanations in Wikipedia.org -- the largest online encyclopedia website and a collaborative, public effort. Similarly, many consider the Google search engine a time-saving approach to finding the information they need. All they have to do is type the keywords and press the "enter" to see numerous results within seconds. The Net Generation also uses tags, one-word descriptors assigned to bookmarks on del.icio.us, to organize and create easily-remembered keywords for those web bookmarks[22].

3. Like E-commerce. For the Net Generation, it is possible to do chores online, even order pizza and ask for delivery. Instead of going out shopping, they can browse the Internet for ideal items on different websites, comparing the price, and reading other peoples’ comments before they buy the products. They often believe that almost everything can be done via the Internet, and they want to save their time by using the online services. The same thing can refer to the online banking services. Compared to the Net Generation, their parents’ generation does not have enough faith in the online banking. The parents’ mistrust of online banking or E-commerce may be due to the lack of confidence in using computers in their daily lives. Windham observed the behavior of the Net Generation and concluded that when they go out and shop, they always choose to pay with credit cards or Debit cards (2005, p. 5.14). This group generally finds it easier to manage their banking accounts online than using more traditional ways, such as having an account books and paper checks lying around on the table. The Net Generation is definitely the wired or wireless generation. They feel very comfortable with using online services. For example, many might consider PayPal the faster and easier payment tool than going to their parents’ bank[23].

4. Feel ease meeting strangers online. The Net Generations are generally more open-minded in their thinking; they favor diversity and differences; and they enjoy sharing information online that older individuals might consider private. They commonly use blogs as an online dairy, upload personal photos to Facebook, share their lives and thoughts via the online platform, and team up with friends on online games. Thus, they feel at ease and comfortable meeting new people in virtual settings. To older individuals, the Net Generation wants to be the focus of attention and enjoy living under a virtual spotlight.

The Net Generation also uses the web to meet people in the real world. For example, if a person is planning a trip abroad and desires to have an immersive cultural experience with the locals, that traveler can connect with people by going to http://www.homestayweb.com[24]. However, for their parents’ generation, taking such risks was probably unacceptable.

Another way to interact with people online is to use collaborative tools, such as Google Apps, an online program that is free for educational purposes. Google Apps comes with a calendar, email with 4 gigabytes, chat, blog and more. One of the most powerful tools is the online docs, which are accessible at any time. The collaboration element comes in when you invite others to view and collaborate in these Google Apps[25].

5. Make good use of free online resources. These learners view the World Wide Web as a platform for sharing information all over the world. Generally, the Net Generation knows where and how to download music, movies and e-books. Although the violation of copyright law has been a consistent issue with sharing copyrighted materials online, the Net Generations continue to use peer-to-peer computer networks to share files.

Tapscott (1998), the writer of Growing Up Digital, stated that the Net Generation consumers have five characteristics. First, they expect options. Consider the number of TV channels that offer young people many options for their needs and desires. These Net Generation can make decisions about the available options, especially in the modern living environment. For the Net Generations, they are growing up in this environment which offers them options to choose what they want from what appears to be abundant resources.

Second, they like customization. The One-size-fits-all standard is no longer suitable for the Net Generation's needs. They want to be cool, be unique, and extraordinary. If a customizable product exists, they are willing to save and pull out all their money to pursuit the uniqueness. The third characteristic is related to the second: they want to change their minds. If you think the Net Generation will be loyal to a brand that they really love, you might be wrong. Unlike the older generation’s loyalty to the specific brand names, the Net Generation will not adhere to just one kind. They like to compare things within different brands and not necessarily buy all kinds of stuffs in one brand. They have the right to mix and match the products they like.

Fourth, they want to try it out. Before buying things, they like to test and manipulate the products and then decide if they want to make the purchase. They like to compare goods before making their minds. Last but not least, they focus on function and real value. Epstein (1998) states that “The Net Generation are not impressed with technology---They care about what technology can do for them.” Overall, the Net Generation is more practical. They do not care about brands at all. Whatever function can meet their needs, they will use it.

Things we should be concerned about

As there are many advantages that the Internet brings to learners and teachers, there are some problems to note. The technology and Web development really help teacher to design and demonstrate visual and interactive learning. “NCLB (No Child Left Behind) requires educators who teach core academic subjects-including reading, language arts, mathematics and science-to teaching skills”(Melinda, 2007). Melinda questions whether or not all these online courses can be qualified and match the school purposes or policy. Due to the growth of distance and online learning, schools should devote resources to the creation of 'digital' or 'virtual' classrooms. In addition, instructional designers should develop interactive and appealing online courses to attract students' learning interests.

Now students have more choices in their learning environment. Some like face-to-face interaction in the classroom, while some full-time workers have to choose online courses. However, students learning autonomy and self-regulation will be the critical factor in determining the success of the students' online learning. Students who do not like online courses say that they have difficulties in managing their time and do not know how to handle online classes. As a result, students' sense of isolation and autonomy in online course environments seems to be another main issue we should consider.

Moreover, due to the expansive growth of distance learning in the world, students and teachers do not need to go to school and can have classes at the most convenient place and time. However, they may lose their chance to connect with each other. Alfred and Kirk consider that students and teachers lack of social relationship and there is distance between people. These online courses can not be like traditional classes that allow people to have eye-contact, a sense of humor atmosphere, using inclusive pronouns... and other situations (Alfred P and Kirk T). In my opinion, the task of minimizing students' feelings of isolation in an online course is related to the instructors' curriculum design. It is another issue we need to consider.


We need to be cautious about how we make use of the claims that have been made about this generation. Educators have been too quick to accept uncritically the claims. Claims based on speculation and anecdotal observations have been repeated a though they were fact. As mentioned earlier almost none of the claims are based on empirical research. These characteristics listed above are mainly describing the Net Generation's learning and living styles. Not only do students need basic computer literacy to use the newest technology to facilitate their learning, but the educators must keep pace with the learners. The instructors must be aware of the current student's learning preferences and design an up-to-date curriculum to meet the Net Generation's learning needs but this must be based on evidence,not speculation.


Bennett, S. Maton K. & Kervin, L. (2008). The `digital natives' debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775-786.

Billings, D. (2004, May/Jun). Teaching learners from varied generations. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 35(3), 104-105. Retrieved October, 1, 2007 from ProQuest Education Journals.

Epstein, J.H. (1998, April). The net generation is changing the marketplace. The Futurist, 32(3). 14. Retrieved October, 1, 2007 from ProQuest Education Journals.

Geck, C. (2006, February). The generation Z connection: teaching information literacy to the newest net generation. Teacher Librarian, 33(3), 19-23. Retrieved October, 1, 2007 from ProQuest Education Journals.

Generation C. An emerging consumer trend and related new business ideas. Retrieved October 1, 2007 from http://www.trendwatching.com/trends/GENERATION_C.htm

Lefrancois, G.R. (1997). Psychology for teaching. (9th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

McNeely, B. (2005). Using technology as a learning tool, not just the cool new thing (chap. 4). In Oblinger, D.G & Oblinger, J.L. (Eds.), The next generation learner. Retrieved October, 1, 2007 from http://www.educause.edu/educatingthenetgen

Oblinger, D.G. (2004, July 21). The next generation learner. Retrieved October, 1, 2007 from http://www.nwacc.org/archive/conferences/2004_Spring_Board_mtg/oblinger.pdf

Oblinger, D.G, & Oblinger, J.L. (Eds.). (2005). Educating the net generation. Retrieved October, 1, 2007 from http://www.educause.edu/educatingthenetgen

Roberts, G. (2005). Technology and learning expectations of the net generation (chap.3). In Oblinger, D.G & Oblinger, J.L. (Eds.), The next generation learner. Retrieved October, 1, 2007 from http://www.educause.edu/educatingthenetgen

Shih, T. K., & Hung, J.C. (2007). Future directions in distance learning and communication technologies. Hershey: Information Science Publishing.

Skiba, D.J. (2006, May/Jun). Collaborative tools for the net generation. Nursing Education Perspectives. 27(3). 162-163. Retrieved October, 1, 2007 from ProQuest Education Journals.

Tapscott, D. (1998). Growing up digital: the rise of the net generation. New York: McGrow-Hill Companies, INC.

Windham, C. (2005). The student’s perspective (chap.5). In Oblinger, D.G & Oblinger, J.L. (Eds.), The next generation learner. Retrieved October, 1, 2007 from http://www.educause.edu/educatingthenetgen

Wati Abas, Z., Kaur, A.,Tengku, P. N., & Tengku, S. (2007, January). Trends and Issues in Educational Technology. UNITEM Sdn Bhd. (p.219)

Gen Y: How This Generation Will Affect Web 2.0 in the Workplace?[edit | edit source]

The next generation of tech-savvy young go-getters nicknamed Generation Y is used to mobile and Web 2.0 collaborative technologies. Web 2.0 is delivering the ability to communicate instantly, collaborate, share data, and work from anywhere. This chapter will cover the challenges and demands that Generation Y will make on Web 2.0 in the workplace.

Gen Y comes close to the Baby Boomer population in size (exceeds 70 million). This generation is always-on, always-connected and feels that it is their right to be continuously plugged in to the Internet and to each other. According to Goldenburg, “These people are largely responsible for purchasing 1 billion cell phones in 2006 (compared to 1 billion cell phones sold before 2006), driving the 100-millionth iPod sale in April 2007, and spending on average 8.5 hours per day digitally connected.” (Goldenberg, 2007)

Although everyone has come across a young person that is a know-it-all, remember that type of person has always been out there for every generation. Overwhelmingly, Gen Yers are found to be hardworking, entrepreneurial, startlingly authentic, refreshingly candid, and wonderfully upbeat. (Welch, 2007)

The 16 –to 25-year-old kids of baby boomers are entering the workplace with different ideas, values and expectations than their older counterparts. They are brash, confident, demanding, and have no fear of authority. Businesses are finding that they will need to accommodate this new crop of workers. (Myers, 2007) According to Ranstad USA’s annual World of Work study, Gen Y workers use desktop computer, facsimiles, land-line telephones, cell phone, laptop computers and PDAs for work purposes less than any other generational group surveyed. (Technology, 2007)

There will be tasks and challenges placed upon businesses using Web 2.0, but if adopted they can make a business more productive and successful. Those who do not accept the changes will find themselves falling further and further behind. The biggest challenge seems to be getting Gen Yers to use Web 2.0 for work purposes. It is obvious that they are very knowledgeable on how to use the devices.

The attitude of Gen Y in workplace[edit | edit source]

High expectations of self: They aim to work faster and better than other workers.

High expectations of employers: They want fair and direct managers who are highly engaged in their professional development.

Ongoing learning: They seek out creative challenges and view colleagues as vast resources from whom to gain knowledge.

Immediate responsibility: They want to make an important impact from the first day on the job.

Changing: Generation Yers don't expect to stay in a job or even a career, for too long.

Goal-oriented: They want small goals with tight deadlines so they can build up ownership of tasks.

Work-life balance: Unlike Boomers who tend to put a high priority on career, today's youngest workers are more interested in making their jobs accommodate their family and personal lives. They want jobs with flexibility, telecommuting options and the ability to work part-time.

There are two video clips on CBS 60 minutes program talk about Gen Y(Millennials)issues

Preview: The 'Millennials' http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=3475131n

The Millennials Are Coming! http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=3486473n

How will Gen Y affect Web 2.0?[edit | edit source]

There will be no limits for technology.

According to an article in the Indianapolis Star, Kristen Fuhs Wells was at home trying to relax and checking her Gmail account, she was disturbed to find a message announcing that she has been added as a friend to a facebook account. This is normally a good thing and a part of everyone’s life. However, this was different. The invitation had come from the chief executive of the company where she works. (Knight, 2007)

After cleaning up her account and making sure there was nothing unsuitable for him to see, she accepted the invitation. However, facebook was no longer a safe comfortable place for friends to learn a little more about you. It has become open season for the professional world. Bosses, colleagues and prospective employers are checking out Facebook and Myspace to get a glimpse of the real you.

In this case, her employer was just trying out the features and wanted to find a friend as a newcomer to Facebook. He actually sees potential for the sites as a professional tool. It is now catching on as a workplace tool. Ernst & Young has 16,000 employee-members on its Network and Citigroup has 8500.

According to an article in Business Week, employers can try too hard. The Millennials look up to the generations that preceded them. They don’t want those in positions of authority to think at their level and use their lingo. They feel that it is very artificial and they don’t want to friend their boss on Facebook. They feel that this puts their company into places they are protective of. (Welch, 2007)

The new water cooler is now on the web

Starcom MediaVest Group found that their workers spend a portion of their workday on a social network. So they decided that in instead of fighting it they would launch a network of their own, for employees only, called SMG Connected. Since April, 2007 more than a third of the company’s workers have signed up for their own pages and create profiles that outline their jobs, list the brands they admire, and describe their values.

Companies hope to leverage their skills and contacts by luring employees to a network. The Film Foundation in Los Angeles is using Lotus Connections to help manage an educational film program. Workers can share calendars, chat, blog, and archive research documents. They believe they can cut in half the time it takes to create materials by having members brainstorm, prepare budges, and review each other’s work on the network.

A 29 yr. old PhD student in the Sociology Department of the University of California wrote an essay that says that they are social class distinctions between Facebook and MySpace. Facebook is for WASPS (upper-middle-class professionals and/or their children) and MySpace is for poor kids (disc jockeys, musicians, skateboarders). (Toyoung, 2007) There seems to be a U vs. non-U online social networking. What opportunities and problems this will create will be interesting as more online social networking is created in the workplace. It might be a Gen Y vs. Pre-Gen Y social networking.

New spaces will be created to share information

Indianapolis, IN recently created an online site (indy.com) where individuals interested in their city can create a profile in a living, breathing community. After a profile is created the user can post photo galleries, write restaurant and movie reviews, comment on local arts and entertainment stories, and talk with other members. If used correctly, businesses can take advantage of the new spaces to change their marketing to appeal to prospective customers in their city or region.

Services Need to e Available

Banking industries are seeing the key to their success being a multichannel approach (including branch, phone, and ATM) combined with shifts in the values touted in product and messaging. Web-based financial management and the availability of ATMs at a bank will be the things that will cause a Gen Y consumer to choose one bank over another. For convenience they also prefer alerts from a text message or e-mail. Acquisition and retention of Gen Y costumers will focus on what is important to them: time savings, multichannel availability, financial management, and convenience. (Dyke & Garascia, 2007) More financial management in business will be done online. It will be interesting to see the changes in the financial industry.


Gen Y believes that everything can be found on the web. If the answer is not online, you are more than likely asking the wrong question. More information is available than they can keep in their heads and on their desks. It can always be Googled later. Everything is re-retrievable.

Research will be different but an improvement. There will be customizable search engines on different subject areas and possibly an online catalog that allows user to add annotations and to create Webliographies they can share with their peers that remembers what they have already viewed and makes recommendations based on their interests. (Bates, 2007)

Although the web has many opportunities for research, there are always issues. Information overload will be an issue. What information is valuable and how do you find time to read all of it? Solutions such as wikibooks, blogs and customizable search engines will become more common and important in screening the information.

Copyright issues will also be present. Not only are you responsible for giving others credit, you also need to protect your ideas. Sharing is becoming more common, but there is a fine line in business for what should not be shared.

It should be noted that both of these issues have been problems with printed as well as electronic. In some ways electronic has become easier to use because it is searchable. However, the amount of information is overwhelming. For example, this wikibook has added more content on tWeb 2.0. I just need a couple of hours to read it all.

Training will be downloaded and done at the learner’s convenience

Online training will be more and more common. JC Penny's has a training program that can be done at the employee's register. Featured satellite-based broadcasts can be downloaded and viewed at the employees’ convenience. They can interact with the broadcast by using the keypad. In the near future, district managers that are more mobile will be able to download the training to an iPod. Security screens are part of the units so the only way to access the unit is to input a security code. (Amato-McCoy, 2007)

Problems with scheduling training to fit everyone's schedule will no longer be an issue. However, supporting and providing the support they will need for this type of training to be available on the register and on an iPod will be a possible problem. However, the benefits seem to out weight the problems in this area.

Example of Web 2.0 Uses by Gen Y[edit | edit source]

  1. Log into local network “Facebook”
  2. Receive notice from eBay that their bid was a winner (purchasing company equipment)
  3. Login to PayPal and transfer money to pay for equipment
  4. E-mail notification that the equipment has been purchased
  5. Check StubHub to see if local NBA basketball team has tickets for international clients
  6. Use Skype to call the clients and tell them that you were able to get the tickets to an event
  7. Check to see if there are any applicants to the classified ad you put on Kijiji
  8. Get directions to the basketball game on MapQuest or Google Maps and make online reservations for dinner
  9. Research Wikipedia on China’s Culture – rebriefing for entertaining clients
  10. Check the wikibook you created on your local network discussing new mfg process
  11. Look on YouTube to see if there are any new videos on the process
  12. Check the pictures that a salesperson put on flickr showing a new production line in Georgia
  13. Go to whoissick.org and check for local sicknesses – you woke with a headache and are a little concerned
  14. A reminder appears on your desktop for you to attend a meeting on Second Life
  15. After the meeting, you make plans to go to the game room to relax and brainstorm with some colleagues

After all – once your 9:00 meeting is completed – over half of the tasks you planned on doing are done by 10:00. You can’t help but wonder what they ever did before Web 2.0.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Generation Y will force companies to think more creatively about work-life balance. Companies will need to adapt, but not all Web 2.0 technologies will be useful in business. Mashups which mix data from internal and external sources will be used in new ways. (Dornan, 2007)

The web is finally delivering the ability to communicate instantly, collaborate, share data and work from anywhere and as a result is changing the way businesses operate. There is a possibility that if you are over 25 and do not develop the skills and attitudes required for a Web 2.0 workplace, you may end up as redundant as an old typewriter. (It's, 2007)

What's next?

Rumors of Web 3.0 are on the horizon. According to an interview by Tim Reilly on YouTube, he believes that the next step will be applications pieced together that are fast, small, customizable, with social networks and e-mails that can be used on phones, PC's, etc. that are designed to work everywhere and distributed virtually. Who knows what is next?en:Web 3

References[edit | edit source]

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