There is an odd meme circulating that might be summed up as: Young people today are SO technical. Nothing could be further from the truth. Young people—Millennials—today are no more ‘technical’ than young people of prior generations. Each generation is most comfortable with technologies introduced before they hit their teens. Time for a real-world example: A friend of mine was hosting a family holiday get-together a few years ago, and informed her 12-year-old nephew that the TV remote was broken. His response: “Oh, so we can’t watch TV.” He had no idea a TV could be turned on manually. That was an experience he had not had, and in his mental model of televisions, they are turned on with remote control devices. Of course, nowadays, 12-year-olds know many other ways to view TV programs. Yes, things change quickly.
What many—but not all–Millennials are is ‘tech savvy.’1 Their mobile devices are packed with useful apps, and they actively use these apps in their daily lives. Let’s make a distinction here: Writing an app makes you technical (one kind of technical, anyway); using an app, not so much. What about conducting a webinar or teaching in the virtual classroom (live, online)? Are the folks who can do this ‘technical’ or ‘tech savvy?’ The answer is: ‘tech savvy;’ and not just ‘tech savvy,’ they are ‘career savvy.’ The ability to design and conduct training and deliver presentations live and online is rapidly becoming a requirement for T&D/HPI/OD jobs. If you know how to design, develop, and deliver instruction face-to-face, you can easily learn to transfer your skills to doing this for another delivery method.
In the spring of 2014, we are offering the following course to help you remain current:
The course will be offered completely online through Blackboard. Using Adobe Connect, the instructor will offer optional, synchronous/live sessions throughout the semester to broaden your experience in participating in online sessions. And you will use a free product called ‘anymeeting’ to deliver a live session to your classmates; a session you have designed and developed yourself. This is an accelerated course, and only runs for eight weeks. That’s plenty of time for you to grasp the basics of designing, developing, and delivering online. For more information about the course, contact me or Tara Hawkins.
Coding webinar software? That’s technical. Using webinar software? Not so much.
1 My use of the term ‘tech savvy’ in this post contradicts the writer Tom Healy (See http://www.vistage.com/content-and-connectivity/vistage-library/five-huge-myths-about-generation-y.aspx). He identifies Gen Y/Millennials as ‘tech dependent’ and uses the term ‘tech savvy’ in a more…’technical’ way?