Growing up Digital: The Generation Gap - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Growing up Digital: The Generation Gap

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Technology is creating a new culture of information-seekers. According to the Pew Research Center, 85 percent of American adults own a cell phone, and many say the devices play a central role in their lives.

"They're experts in iPads, video games, computers and smart phones before they can swim," Grand Island Central Community College psychology instructor, Wayne Littrell, said. "They just have those skills."

The advances in technology have a created a big generational gap. Psychology of technology expert Dr. Larry Rosen says there are major differences within generations and their obsessions with technology.

Dr. Rosen says the iGeneration -- those born in the 90s, and the Net Generation -- those born in 80s -- are much more obsessed with social media and texting compared to Generation X or the baby boomers. He said those born in the new millennium are now known as Generation ‘C' because of how highly connected they are in the virtual world.

Many Grand Island Senior High students in the iGeneration said they've been using computers for as long as they could remember. "I was young," GISH freshman Layne Gardient said. "I think I've been using them since I was three."

Dr. Rosen found many in the technology generation are misunderstood. "They have a very strong work ethic people think these kids are lazy but they're not," Rosen said. "They are highly social, for them social connections are everything."

Now schools are beginning to incorporate technology into the classrooms to meet the needs of a very different learning generation.

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