I recently spent some time with my sister, a former science teacher who now does teacher training. I was helping her to load and try out new technology that she can integrate onto her computer. We are only 3 years apart, yet when working with her, she felt we were from different generations. "You at least have an understanding of the computer system and how it works. I just can't conceptualize it," she told me.
Part of the difference, when discussing it with her, was that I took computer courses in college (BASIC, and later for my MBA in International Business, a number of computer based programs for logistics and decision making on both mainframes and pc's). She felt that because she did not have a formal education in those areas, it is harder for her to figure out how to use the computers.
However, in speaking with her, we came to the conclusion that many older workers feel they need someone with "expertise" to talk them through a technology. Younger workers and students feel very comfortable asking others how to do things when it interests them (as opposed to only learning it when it is mandated). Rarely do older workers talk about what they can do or offer to show someone else how to do something unless they feel "qualified". I am not sure why, perhaps having lived abroad for some many years and relying on others to give me insight, but I have never felt shy about working with someone on how to figure things out. I am irritated with my children when they will "do" something for me (like put in names to my address book) rather than show me how to do it (as they will with each other).
I wonder, therefore, if we should be developing training differently between generations.
- V Yonkers
- Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.