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Text 2. The Net Generation, Unplugged
Task 7. Read and translate the text. Comment on new words and expressions. Define the main idea.
Technology and science: Is it really helpful to talk about a new generation of “digital natives” who have grown up with the Internet?
They are variously known as the Net Generation, Millennials, Generation Y or Digital Natives. But whatever you call this group of young people, born between 1980 and 2000, there is a widespread consensus among educators, marketers and policymakers that digital technologies have given rise to a new generation of students, consumers, and citizens who see the world in a different way. Growing with Internet has transformed their approach to education, work and politics.
This generation didn’t have to relearn anything to live lives of digital immersion. They learned and expressed themselves in digital around. Students have changed radically.
But does it make sense to generalize about a whole generation in this way? Not everyone thinks it does. This is essentially a wrong-headed argument that our kids have some special path to the witchcraft of “digital awareness” and that they understand something that their parents don’t.
Most of the students have a superficial familiarity with the digital tools that they use regularly. Only a small fraction of students may count as true digital natives. The rest are no better or worse at using technology than the rest of the population.
There may be “as much variation within the digital native generation as between the generations”. (Sue Bennett: the British Journal of Education Technology). Academics caution that the idea of a new generation that learns in a different way might actually be counterproductive in education, because such sweeping generalizations “fail to recognize cognitive differences in young people of different ages, and variation within age group”. The young do not really have different kinds of brains that require new approaches to school and work.
Spending time online is “essential for young people to pick up the social and technical skills they need to be competent citizens in the digital age”. But discussions about “digital citizens” have the same problems as “digital natives”. There may be too much economic, geographic, and demographic disparity within this group to make meaning generalizations.
After all, not everyone born between 1980 and 2000 has access to digital technology: many in the developing and repressive world do not.
Activism or Slacktivism? There is also a feeling of superficiality about much online youth activism. They may share political news or join political causes on social networks; they may simply wish to broadcast their activism to their peers. As with the idea that digital natives learn and work in new ways, there may be less going on here than meets the eye.
Task 7.1. Write a summary (abstract) of the text using 50-60 words.
Pattern: The text is concerned with the problem of the net generation. The author gives several definitions of digital natives and indicates the group of young people, born between 1980 and 2000. The text focuses on digital technologies as a reason which has given rise to a new generation of students.
Task 8. Memorize the key terms, concepts, expressions and their meaning.
Task 9. Answer the following questions, solve the problems, do the tasks.
1. Comment on the title of the text.
2. How do you understand the term “unplugged”?
3. How are “digital natives” known as?
4. Are student really “digital”?
5. Do students become more responsible citizens?
6. Has anyone born between 1980 and 2000 access to digital technology?
7. Activism or slacktivism? What does it mean?
8. Do students actively use the web?
9. Are students totally different from previous generations or just younger?
Task 10. Word building vocabulary: Fill in the table with the correct form of the words.
Task 11. These adjectives can be used to describe “digital natives” and their behavior. Put them into the correct place in the table.
Task 12. Developing Speech (Discussion in groups). Ask and answer questions on “Digital Society”
– Do you like (enjoy) to live in the digital society?
– ….. .
– Does digital society change our life?
– ….. .
– Are you digital natives?
– ….. .
– Why are you for digital contacts?
– ….. .
– How do you understand the concept “Digital jobs”?
– …... .
– What other problems may highlight digital society?
– ….. .
– Thank you for talking to me.
Task 13. Work in groups: Match a word on the left with a word on the right to make a collocation with computer terms.
Work in pairs
Task 14.Work in pairs and make up short dialogues about “Digital Society”:
1) Digital Society. 2) Socialization in Digital Society. 3) Digital Contacts: pro and cons. 4) Digital Jobs. 5) Digital Society Changes our Life.
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