Techno savvy or techno oriented: Who are the Net Generation?
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Information Science
During the last twenty years rapid developments in technology have led to changes in the way we work, play and learn. Technology has become an integral part of society's everyday information environment. Children growing up during what has been called the technological or digital revolution have never known a world without instantaneous communication and easy access to vast quantities of information using multiple formats, text types, graphics and multimedia. For the 'Net Generation' (born after 1985) of users and consumers who are surrounded by information, technology is transparent and a part of their social, economic and educational landscape. The terms tech-savvy, web-savvy, Internet-savvy and computer-savvy are being used to describe young people in major educational policy documents and population studies worldwide. While educators recognise that their students have a different culture of use when using and seeking information delivered electronically, they struggle to comne to terms with the changes the integration of technology brings to the teaching-learning environment. The implications for educators, teacher librarians and librarians being raised in current research on the information seeking of the Net Generation, is whether students have an intuitive/instinctive grasp of how to access and use electronic information or is this just an il1usion borne of familiarity with the technology? This paper presents a brief summary of the research and popular literature about the information seeking behavior of the Net Generation and outlines future research to be conducted as part of this thesis. It also proposes a leadership role for libraries and their personnel in designing programs to ensure that young people have adequate information skills that will enable them to use evolving technologies effectively and efficiently when searching for information.