Archive of ‘digital divide’ category

no Millennials Gen Z Gen X

Can We Please Stop Talking About Generations as if They Are a Thing?

Millennials are not all narcissists and boomers are not inherently selfish. The research on generations is flawed.
DAVID COSTANZA
APRIL 13, 2018 9:00 AM

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SIVA VAIDHYANATHAN, 2008. https://www.chronicle.com/article/Generational-Myth/32491 Generational Myth
My note: Siva raised this issue from a sociologist point of view as soon as in 2008. Before him, Prensky’s “digitally natives” ideas was already criticized.
Howe and Strauss; Millennials books contributed to the overgeneralizations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss%E2%80%93Howe_generational_theory
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We spend a lot of time debating the characteristics of generations—are baby boomers really selfish and entitledare millennials really narcissists, and the latest, has the next generation (whatever it is going to be called) already been ruined by cellphones? Many academics—and many consultants—argue that generations are distinct and that organizations, educators, and even parents need to accommodate them. These classifications are often met with resistance from those they supposedly represent, as most people dislike being represented by overgeneralizations, and these disputes only fuel the debate around this contentious topic.

In short, the science shows that generations are not a thing.

It is important to be clear what not a thing means. It does not mean that people today are the same as people 80 years ago or that anything else is static. Times change and so do people. However, the idea that distinct generations capture and represent these changes is unsupported.

What is a generation? Those who promote the concept define it as a group of people who are roughly the same age and who were influenced by a set of significant events. These experiences supposedly create commonalities, making those in the group more similar to each other and more different from other groups now and from groups of the same age in the past.

In line with the definition, there is a commonly held perception that people growing up around the same time and in the same place must have some sort of universally shared set of experiences and characteristics. It helps that the idea of generations intuitively makes sense. But the science does not support it. In fact, most of the research findings showing distinct generations are explained by other causes, have serious scientific flaws, or both.

For example, millennials score lower on job satisfaction than Gen Xers, but are millennials really a less satisfied generation? Early in their careers, Xers were also less satisfied than baby boomers.

Numerous booksarticles, and pundits have claimed that millennials are much more narcissistic than young people in the past.
on average, millennials are no more narcissistic now than Xers or boomers were when they were in their 20s, and one study has even found they might be less so than generations past. While millennials today may be more narcissistic than Xers or boomers are today, that is because young people are pretty narcissistic regardless of when they are young. This too is an age effect.

Final example. Research shows that millennials joining the Army now show more pride in their service than boomers or Xers did when they joined 20-plus years ago. Is this a generational effect? Nope. Everyone in the military now shows more pride on average than 20 years ago because of 9/11. The terrorist attack increased military pride across the board. This is known as a period effect and it doesn’t have anything to do with generations.

Another problem—identifying true generational effects is methodologically very hard. The only way to do it would be to collect data from multiple longitudinal panels. Individuals in the first panel would be measured at the start of the study and then in subsequent years with new panels added every year thereafter, allowing assessment of whether people were changing because they were getting older (age effects), because of what was happening around them (period effects), or because of their generation (cohort effects). Unfortunately, such data sets pretty much do not exist. Thus, we’re never really able to determine why a change occurred.

According to one national-culture model, people from the United States are, on average, relatively individualistic, indulgent, and uncomfortable with hierarchical order.
My note: RIchard Nisbett sides with Hofstede and Minkov: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2016/06/14/cultural-differences/
Conversely, people from China are generally group-oriented, restrained, and comfortable with hierarchy. However, these countries are so large and diverse that they each have millions of individuals who are more similar to the “averages” of the other country than to their own.

Given these design and data issues, it is not surprising that researchers have tried a variety of different statistical techniques to massage (aka torture) the data in an attempt to find generational differences. Studies showing generational differences have used statistical techniques like analysis of variance (ANOVA) and cross-temporal meta-analysis (CTMA), neither of which is capable of actually attributing the differences to generations.

The statistical challenge derives from the problem we have already raised—generations (i.e., cohorts) are defined by age and period. As such, mathematically separating age, period, and cohort effects is very difficult because they are inherently confounded with one another. Their linear dependency creates what is known as an identification problem, and unless one has access to multiple longitudinal panels like I described above, it is impossible to statistically isolate the unique effect of any one factor.

First, relying on flawed generational science leads to poor advice and bad decisions. An analogy: Women live longer than men, on average. Why? They engage in fewer risky behaviors, take better care of themselves, and have two X chromosomes, giving them backups in case of mutations. But if you are a man and you go to the doctor and ask how to live longer, she doesn’t tell you, “Be a woman.” She says eat better, exercise, and don’t do stupid stuff. Knowing the why guides the recommendation.

Now imagine you are a manager trying to retain your supposedly job-hopping, commitment-averse millennial employees and you know that Xers and boomers are less likely to leave their jobs. If you are that manager, you wouldn’t tell your millennial employees to “be a boomer” or “grow older” (nor would you decide to hire boomers or Xers rather than millennials—remember that individuals vary within populations). Instead, you should focus on addressing benefits, work conditions, and other factors that are reasons for leaving.

Second, this focus on generational distinctions wastes resources. Take the millennials-as-commitment-averse-job-hoppers stereotype. Based on this belief, consultants sell businesses on how to recruit and retain this mercurial generation. But are all (or even most) millennials job-hopping commitment avoiders? Survey research shows that millennials and Xers at the same point in their careers are equally likely to stay with their current employer for five or more years (22 percent v. 21.8 percent). It makes no sense for organizations to spend time and money changing HR policies when employees are just as likely to stick around today as they were 15 years ago.

Third, generations perpetuate stereotyping. Ask millennials if they are narcissistic job-hoppers and most of them will rightly be offended. Treat boomers like materialistic achievement seekers and see how it affects their work quality and commitment. We finally are starting to recognize that those within any specific group of people are varied individuals, and we should remember those same principles in this context too. We are (mostly) past it being acceptable to stereotype and discriminate against women, minorities, and the disabled. Why is it OK to do so to millennials or boomers?

The solutions are fairly straightforward, albeit challenging, to implement. To start, we need to focus on the why when talking about whether groups of people differ. The reasons why any generation should be different have only been generally discussed, and the theoretical mechanism that supposedly creates generations has not been fully fleshed out.

Next, we need to quit using these nonsensical generations labels, because they don’t mean anything. The start and end years are somewhat arbitrary anyway. The original conceptualization of social generations started with a biological generational interval of about 20 years, which historians, sociologists and demographers (for one example, see Strauss and Howe, 1991) then retrofitted with various significant historical events that defined the period.

The problem with this is twofold. First, such events do not occur in nice, neat 20-year intervals. Second, not everyone agrees on what the key events were for each generation, so the start and end dates also move around depending on what people think they were. One review found that start and end dates for boomers, Xers, and millennials varied by as many as nine years, and often four to five, depending on the study and the researcher. As with the statistical problem, how can distinct generations be a thing if simply defining when they start and when they end varies so much from study to study?

In the end, the core scientific problem is that the pop press, consultants, and even some academics who are committed to generations don’t focus on the whys. They have a vested interest in selling the whats (Generation Me has reportedly sold more than 115,000 copies, and Google “generations consultants” and see how many firms are dedicated to promulgating these distinctions), but without the science behind them, any prescriptions are worthless or even harmful

David Costanza is an associate professor of organizational sciences at George Washington University and a senior consortium fellow for the U.S. Army Research Institute. He researches, teaches, and consults in the areas of generations, leadership, culture, and organizational performance.

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more on the topic in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=millennials

Millennials Gen Z prefer live training

Millennials and Gen Z still prefer live training, study finds

 Feb. 13, 2018

https://www.hrdive.com/news/millennials-and-gen-z-still-prefer-live-training-study-finds/516792/

instructor led training

Although by a narrower margin for millennials and Gen Z, the numbers in the Wainhouse study shows that the personal touch hasn’t been replaced in workplace learning.

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more on instructional design in this IMS blog
https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=instructional+design

FCC and netneutrality

https://hackernoon.com/more-than-a-million-pro-repeal-net-neutrality-comments-were-likely-faked-e9f0e3ed36a6

Jeff Kao Data Scientist, Software Engineer, Language Nerd, Biglaw Refugee. jeffykao.com

More than a Million Pro-Repeal Net Neutrality Comments were Likely Faked

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The Federal Communications Commission released a plan on Tuesday to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for internet service companies to charge users more to see certain content and to curb access to some websites.

The proposal, made by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration. The rules prohibit high-speed internet service providers, or I.S.P.s, from stopping or slowing down the delivery of websites. They also prevent the companies from charging customers extra fees for high-quality streaming and other services.

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FCC chairman defends net neutrality repeal plan

“All we are simply doing is putting engineers and entrepreneurs, instead of bureaucrats and lawyers, back in charge of the internet,” Pai said on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends,”

Pai on Tuesday confirmed his plan to fully dismantle the Obama-era net neutrality rules, which were approved by the FCC’s previous Democratic majority in 2015. His order would remove bans on blocking and throttling web traffic and allow internet service providers to charge for internet “fast lanes” to consumers. The move sparked a barrage of criticism from Democrats and public interest groups who call it a giveaway to big telecom companies.

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What Everyone Gets Wrong in the Debate Over Net Neutrality

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06.23.14TIME OF PUBLICATION: 6:30 AM.

The only trouble is that, here in the year 2014, complaints about a fast-lane don’t make much sense. Today, privileged companies—including Google, Facebook, and Netflix—already benefit from what are essentially internet fast lanes, and this has been the case for years. Such web giants—and others—now have direct connections to big ISPs like Comcast and Verizon, and they run dedicated computer servers deep inside these ISPs. In technical lingo, these are known as “peering connections” and “content delivery servers,” and they’re a vital part of the way the internet works.

in today’s world, they don’t address the real issue with the country’s ISPs, and if we spend too much time worried about fast lanes, we could hurt the net’s progress rather than help it.

The real issue is that the Comcasts and Verizons are becoming too big and too powerful. Because every web company has no choice but to go through these ISPs, the Comcasts and the Verizons may eventually have too much freedom to decide how much companies must pay for fast speeds.

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FAKE AMERICANS ARE INFLUENCING THE DEBATE OVER NET NEUTRALITY, SAYS NEW YORK’S ATTORNEY GENERAL

http://www.newsweek.com/bots-influencing-debate-over-net-neutrality-says-new-york-attorney-general-719454
An analysis of the millions of comments conducted by the data company Gravwell in October found that just 17.4 percent of the comments to the FCC on the net neutrality rules came from real people.
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Finley, K. (2017, November 22). Here’s How the End of Net Neutrality Will Change the Internet. WIRED. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/story/heres-how-the-end-of-net-neutrality-will-change-the-internet/
Because many internet services for mobile devices include limits on data use, the changes will be visible there first. In one dramatic scenario, internet services would begin to resemble cable-TV packages, where subscriptions could be limited to a few dozen sites and services. Or, for big spenders, a few hundred. Fortunately, that’s not a likely scenario. Instead, expect a gradual shift towards subscriptions that provide unlimited access to certain preferred providers while charging extra for everything else.
Even Verizon’s “unlimited” plans impose limits. The company’s cheapest unlimited mobile plan limits video streaming quality to 480p resolution, which is DVD quality, on phones and 720p resolution, the lower tier of HD quality, on tablets. Customers can upgrade to a more expensive plan that enables 720p resolution on phones and 1080p on tablets, but the higher quality 4K video standard is effectively forbidden.
Meanwhile, Comcast customers in 28 states face 1 terabyte data caps. Going over that limit costs subscribers as much as an additional $50 a month. As 4K televisions become more common, more households may hit the limit. That could prompt some to stick with a traditional pay-TV package from Comcast.
Republican FCC Chair Ajit Pai argues that Federal Trade Commission will be able to protect consumers and small business from abuses by internet providers once the agency’s current rules are off the books. But that’s not clear.
The good news is the internet won’t change overnight, if it all. Blake Reid, a clinical professor at Colorado Law, says the big broadband providers will wait to see how the inevitable legal challenges to the new FCC order shakeout. They’ll probably keep an eye on 2018 and even 2020 elections as well.

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more on netneutrality in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=netneutrality

digital darwinism

We Need New Rules for the Internet Economy

Antitrust laws only go so far when addressing companies that don’t produce any physical goods. It is time to negotiate a new set of rules. Otherwise, our future economy will be dominated by just a few companies.

A DER SPIEGEL Editorial by Armin Mahler  November 03, 2017  06:12 PMhttp://www.spiegel.de/international/business/editorial-time-for-new-rules-for-the-ditigal-economy-a-1176403.html

There are still people out there who think that Amazon is nothing more than an online version of a department store. But it’s much more than that: It is a rapidly growing, global internet giant that is changing the way we shop, conquering more and more markets, using Alexa to suck up our personal data straight out of our living rooms and currently seeking access to our front door keys so it can deliver packages even when nobody’s home.

It wasn’t that long ago that EU efforts to limit the power of Google and Amazon on the European market were decried in the U.S. as protectionism, as an attempt by the Europeans to protect their own inferior digital economy. Now, though, politicians and economists in the U.S. have even begun discussing the prospect of breaking up the internet giants. The mood has shifted.

The digital economy, by contrast, is based on algorithms and its most powerful companies don’t produce any physical products. Customers receive their services free of charge, paying only with their data. The more customers a service provider attracts, the more attractive it becomes to new customers, who then deliver even more data – which is why Google and Facebook need not fear new competition.

first of all, the power of a company, and the abuse of that power, must be redefined. We cannot allow a situation in which these extremely large companies can swallow up potential rivals before they can even begin to develop. As such, company acquisitions must be monitored much more strictly than they currently are and, if need be, blocked.

Second, it must be determined who owns the data collected – whether, for example, it should also be made available to competitors or whether consumers should receive more in exchange than simply free internet search results.

Third, those disseminating content cannot be allowed to reject responsibility for that content. Demonstrably false claims and expressions of hate should not be tolerated.

And finally, those who earn lots of money must also pay lots of taxes – and not just back home but in all the countries where they do business.

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more on net neutrality in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=net+neutrality

Minecraft empathy skills

Report: Minecraft Builds Problem-Solving and Empathy Skills in Students

By Sri Ravipati  08/14/17

https://thejournal.com/articles/2017/08/14/minecraft-builds-problem-solving-and-empathy-in-students.aspx

K–12 teachers who use Minecraft: Education Edition during class say their students are experiencing a number of social-emotional learning (SEL) benefits.

How Minecraft Supports Social and Emotional Learning in K–12 Education

Getting Smart site.

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more on empathy in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=empathy

millennials employees

Want to Keep Your Millennial Employees? You Have To Be Willing to Offer Them This 1 Thing

Pretty soon, this will be the standard.
https://www.inc.com/nicolas-cole/want-to-keep-your-millennial-employees-you-have-to-be-willing-to-offer-them-this.html

library user

The Library in the Life of the User. Engaging with People Where They Live and Learn

http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/research/publications/2015/oclcresearch-library-in-life-of-user.pdf
p. 18
Library staff
The roles of librarians change with changes in user needs and demands and the technology employed. A survey conducted for Research Libraries UK found skill gaps in nine key areas in which subject librarians could be supporting researchers’ needs. Even though many librarians may want to hire new staff with these skills, a survey found that the reality for most will be training existing staff.
Definitions of library services will change. We need to grow the ways users can engage with whatever they value from libraries, whether papyrus rolls, maker spaces or data management instruction.
p. 19
What is the Unique Selling Point (USP) of libraries vis-à-vis other information service providers?
p. 21
Librarians should measure the effectiveness of services based on the users’ perceptions of success. Librarians also should move beyond surveys of how library space is being used and should conduct structured observations and interviews with the people using the space. It is not enough to know that the various spaces, whether physical or virtual, are busy. Librarians need to understand when and how the spaces are being used.

p. 33 What is Enough? Satisficing Information Needs

Role theory explains that: “When people occupy social positions their behavior is determined mainly by what is expected of that position rather than by their own individual characteristics” (Abercrombie et al., 1994, p. 360).
Rational choice theory is based on the premise that complex social behavior can be understood in terms of elementary individual actions because individual action is the elementary unit of social life. Rational choice theory posits that individuals choose or prefer what is best to achieve their objectives or pursue their interests, acting in their self-interest (Green, 2002). Stated another way, “When faced with several courses of action, people usually do what they believe is likely to have the best overall outcome” (Scott, 2000).
When individuals satisfice, they compare the benefits of obtaining “more information” against the additional cost and effort of continuing to search (Schmid, 2004)
p. 38
This paper examines the theoretical concepts—role theory, rational choice, and satisficing—by attempting to explain the parameters within which users navigate the complex information-rich environment and determine what and how much information will meet their needs.
p. 39
The information-seeking and -searching research that explicitly addresses the topic of “what is good enough” is scant, though several studies make oblique references to the stopping stage, or to the shifting of directions for want of adequate information. Kraft and Lee (1979, p. 50) propose three stopping rules:
1. The satiation rule, “where the scan is terminated only when the user becomes satiated by finding all the desired number of relevant documents”;
2. The disgust rule, which “allows the scan to be terminated only when the user becomes disgusted by having to examine too many irrelevant documents”; and
3. The combination rule, “which allows the user to be seen as stopping the scan if he/she is satiated by finding the desired number of relevant documents or disgusted by having to examine too many irrelevant documents, whichever comes first.”
p. 42
Ellis characterizes six different types of information activities: starting, chaining, browsing, differentiating, monitoring and extracting. He emphasizes the information- seeking activities, rather than the nature of the problems or criteria used for determining when to stop the information search process. In a subsequent article, Ellis (1997) observes that even in the final stages of writing, individuals may continue the search for information in an attempt to answer unresolved questions or to look for new literature.
p. 43
Undergraduate and graduate students
Situations creating the need to look for information (meeting assignment requirements):
• Writing research reports; and
• Preparing presentations.
Criteria used for stopping the information search (fulfilling assignment requirements):
1. Quantitative criteria:
— Required number of citations was gathered;
— Required number of pages was reached;
— All the research questions were answered; and
— Time available for preparing.
2. Qualitative criteria:
— Accuracy of information;
— Same information repeated in several sources;
— Sufficient information was gathered; and
— Concept understood.
Criteria used for stopping the information search (fulfilling assignment requirements):
1. Quantitative criteria:
— Required number of citations was gathered;
— Required number of pages was reached;
— All the research questions were answered; and
— Time available for preparing.
2. Qualitative criteria:
— Accuracy of information;
— Same information repeated in several sources;
— Sufficient information was gathered; and
— Concept understood.
p. 44
Faculty
Situations creating the need to look for information (meeting teaching needs):
• Preparing lectures and presentations;
• Delivering lectures and presentations;
• Designing and conducting workshops;
• Meeting scholarly and research needs; and
• Writing journal articles, books and grant proposals.
Criteria used for stopping the information search (fulfilling teaching needs):
1. Quantitative criteria:
— Time available for: preparing lectures and presentations; delivering lectures
— And presentations; and designing and conducting workshops; and
— Fulfilling scholarly and research needs.
2. Qualitative criteria:
— Every possible synonym and every combination were searched;
— Representative sample of research was identified;
— Current or cutting-edge research was found;
— Same information was repeated;
— Exhaustive collection of information sources was discovered;
— Colleagues’ feedback was addressed;
— Journal reviewers’ comments were addressed; and
— Publisher’s requirements were met.
1. Quantitative criteria for stopping:
— Requirements are met;
— Time constraints are limited; and
— Coverage of material for publication is verified by colleagues or reviewers.
2. Qualitative criteria for stopping:
— Trustworthy information was located;
— A representative sample of sources was gathered;
— Current information was located;
— Cutting-edge material was located;
— Exhaustive search was performed; and
— Exhaustive collection of information sources was discovered.
p. 53

“Screenagers” and Live Chat Reference: Living Up to the Promise

p. 81

Sense-Making and Synchronicity: Information-Seeking Behaviors of Millennials and Baby Boomers

p. 84 Millennials specific generational features pertinent to libraries and information-seeking include the following:

Immediacy. Collaboration. Experiential learning. Visual orientation. Results orientation.  Confidence.
Rushkoff (1996) described the non-linearity of the thinking patterns of those he terms “children of chaos,” coining the term “screenagers” to describe those who grew up surrounded by television and computers (p. 3).
p. 85
Rational choice theory describes a purposive action whereby individuals judge the costs and benefits of achieving a desired goal (Allingham 1999; Cook and Levi 1990; Coleman and Fararo 1992). Humans, as rational actors, are capable of recognizing and desiring a certain outcome, and of taking action to achieve it. This suggests that information seekers rationally evaluate the benefits of information’s usefulness and credibility, versus the costs in time and effort to find and access it.
Role theory offers a person-in-context framework within the information-seeking situation which situates behaviors in the context of a social system (Mead 1934; Marks 1996). Abercrombie, et al. (1994, p. 360) state, “When people occupy social positions their behavior is determined mainly by what is expected of that position rather than by their own individual characteristics.” Thus the roles of information-seekers in the academic environment influence the expectations for performance and outcomes. For example, faculty would be expected to look for information differently than undergraduate students. Faculty members are considered researchers and experts in their disciplines, while undergraduate students are novices and protégés, roles that place them differently within the organizational structure of the academy (Blumer, 2004; Biddle, 1979; Mead, 1934; Marks, 1996; Marks, 1977).

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more on research in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=research

Internet Access

Across The Atlantic, Glimpse An Alternate Internet Universe

http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2014/04/09/301028037/across-the-atlantic-glimpse-an-alternate-internet-universe

a moment when the U.S. decided to go one way and the rest of the world went another

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more on Internet Access in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=internet+access

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