April 2009 Archives

In December of 1965, The Who blasted onto the British rock scene with their edgy first album, My Generation.  The lyrics of the title cut, My Generation, echoed frustration and misunderstanding.

People try to put us d-d-d-down
(Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Just because we get around
(Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-c-cold
(Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old
(Talkin' 'bout my generation)
This is my generation
This is my generation, baby

 Why don't you all f-f-f-fade away 
(Talkin' 'bout my generation)
And don't try to dig what we all s-s-s-say
(Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm not trying to cause a big s-s-s-sensation
(Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I'm just talkin' 'bout my g-g-g-generation
(Talkin' 'bout my generation)

In the March 24th Wall Street Journal, Gary Hamel writes about employment and the F-Generation.  As we have discovered, the digital, always online information flow affects how current children and young adults will interact with their world. 

He writes... "The experience of growing up online will profoundly shape the workplace expectations of "Generation F" - the Facebook Generation. At a minimum,they'll expect the social environment of work to reflect the social context of the Web."

I have seen this in students who not only want me to give class directions, but also a myriad of online resources and information so that they may access it at any time.  Hmmm....My Generation has given way to the F-Generation and, for the first time in many, many years, those in charge do not really understand the players as much as their parents didn't 45 years ago. 

He continues..."If your company hopes to attract the most creative and energetic members of Gen F, it will need to understand these Internet-derived expectations, and then reinvent its management practices accordingly. 

Here is a list of 12 work-relevant characteristics of online life. These are the post-bureaucratic realities that tomorrow's employees will use as yardsticks...."

1. All ideas compete on an equal footing.
2. Contribution counts for more than credentials.
3. Hierarchies are natural, not prescribed.
4. Leaders serve rather than preside.
5. Tasks are chosen, not assigned.
6. Groups are self-defining and self-organizing.
7. Resources get attracted, not allocated.
8. Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.
9. Opinions compound and decisions are peer-reviewed.
10. Users can veto most policy decisions.
11. Intrinsic rewards matter most.
12. Hackers are heroes.

He cautions that, "These features of Web-based life are written into the social DNA of Generation F-and mostly missing from the managerial DNA of the average Fortune 500 company."

Consider, for a moment, that a school is a little bit like one of these companies....with set rules,a built in structure controlled by the teacher....how long will it take for the players to become frustrated?  He raises an interesting question in light of the F-Generation.  Read on here...
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A new CCRC study finds dramatic growth nationwide in arrests of online predators who solicited law enforcement investigators posing online as juveniles, the numbers nearly quintupling from 644 in 2000 to 3,100 in 2006.

During the same period, arrests of individuals for soliciting juveniles themselves grew a modest 21 percent, from an estimated 508 arrests in 2000 to an estimated 615 in 2006, at a time when use of the Internet by youth was growing from 73 percent to 93 percent.

Other results of this study include:

  • During the same period that online predator arrests were increasing, overall sex offenses against children and adolescents were declining, as were overall arrests for such crimes.
  • Arrests of online predators in 2006 constituted about 1 percent of all arrests for sex crimes committed against children and youth.
  • Although arrests of online predators are increasing, especially arrests for soliciting undercover law enforcement, the facts do not suggest that the Internet is facilitating an epidemic of sex crimes against youth. Rather, increasing arrests for online predation probably reflect increasing rates of youth Internet use, a migration of crime from offline to online venues and the growth of law enforcement activity against online crimes.
  • The nature of crimes in which online predators used the Internet to meet and victimize youth changed little between 2000 and 2006, despite the advent of social networking sites. Victims were adolescents, not younger children. Most offenders were open about their sexual motives in their online communications with youth. Few crimes (5 percent) involved violence.
The empirical data on the actual degree of risk suggest that we should be concerned but over-exaggerate the risks.  For more information check out The Crimes Against Children Research Center at <http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/>.
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