In danah boyd’s recent book, It’s Complicated: the social lives of networked teens, she interrogates several myths regarding teens’ use of social media.
- Why do teens seem strange online? (Identity)
- Why do youth share so publicly? (privacy)
- What makes teens obsessed with social media? (addiction)
- Are sexual predators lurking everywhere? (danger)
- Is social media amplifying meanness and cruelty? (bullying)
- Can social media resolve social divisions? (inequality)
- Are today’s youth digital natives? (literacy)
The book and conversations I’ve had in several courses I teach at Moravian College have gotten me thinking about Generation Z from a leadership perspective and how schools must change to best meet their needs. To propel my thinking even further, I recently discovered this presentation (Meet Generation Z: Forget Everything You Learned About Millennials) by the marketing firm Sparks & Honey.
If we are to make our learning institutions places of connected learning to meet the needs of Generation Z, we as leaders will need to confront some or all of the myths boyd shares in her book (depending on our varying leadership contexts).
Which of the bullets above do you find most pressing to address in your current leadership context? How are you addressing these myths, or how might you address them in the coming school year?
Resources that are worth the time to check out:
- You can download a free copy of her book at danah.org.
- NPR Interview – Online, Researcher Says, Teens Do What They’ve Always Done
- Book Review – June Ahn, Ph.D.
- Meet Generation Z on Slideshare