A Guide to Educating Different Generations in South Africa
Kevin Johnston, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Proceedings of the Informing Science and Information Technology Education Conference, ISSN 1535-0703 Publisher: Informing Science Institute
The majority of academics teaching Information Systems today were born somewhere between 1943 and 1981 (Baby Boomers or Generation X), while the majority of students were born after 1982 (Net Generation or iGeneration). One generation is always tasked with educating another generation, which has different likes and dislikes. This paper reviews papers written on educating the two different generations in South Africa, what academics (Baby Boomers and Generation X) need to know to better educate students (Net Generation and iGeneration). Six South African papers on learning preferences, and use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) were reviewed. Over 1500 university students in 7 South African Universities, plus 122 IS academics were involved. Gaps in perceptions and usage were identified between generations, and recommendations made as how to treat the gaps to better facilitate the education of the Net and iGenerations. Vodcasting (video on demand) was introduced to a first year class of 605 students in 2011 at the University of Cape Town, South Africa as a learning supplement. At the end of the course, students were surveyed on amongst other issues, the benefits of vodcasting. The study revealed that the students favoured the use of interactive, practical and visual learning styles. The academics underestimated the students’ affinity for interactive and online learning, and failed to grasp the effects of the use of mobile phones and social networking on students learning styles.
Johnston, K. (2013). A Guide to Educating Different Generations in South Africa. In E. Cohen & E. Boyd (Eds.), Proceedings of Proceedings of the Informing Science and Information Technology Education Conference 2013 (pp. 261-273). Informing Science Institute.
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