A quick Google search dates the term “generation ADD” to 2007. I find myself wondering how far we have gone to label an entire generation ADD without blinking an eye. Like grandpa at the barber shop, a sigh and a nod… yep, we are all going to get the ADD. I guess now it’s the norm to feel a strong sense of under-achievement (a symptom of ADD). So what’s all this got to do with eLearning?
In our business, we create entertaining learning content that optimizes retention by the learner. For ethics and compliance, eLearning retention is a matter of liability to our clients. Not only do we want the learner to understand, we also want them to act. This is behavior training – we strive to minimize deficits in attention and help promote an ethical culture.
As a 40-something eLearning/tech professional and gamer who remembers when there were no personal computers, I belong to a highly technical portion of my generation. I spend much, but not all, of my spare time totally immersed in high-definition virtual worlds, and I’m not alone. I have all the tech gadgets and doohickeys and so do my friends. I don’t have ADD, and I expect many in the current younger generation don’t either, but I wouldn’t assume they are all as digital savvy as me either.
One of the great passions of my life is that I work in the fine art of human communications. The Horizon Report first noted digital media literacy as a critical challenge in 2008 and it is still there in 2011. The take away here, as new ways emerge for content delivery, is that we can’t assume that any member of any generation is digital media literate — and we can’t assume they are not.
It’s not that we’re seeing a whole new “digital” species here, and yes we should approach eLearning with an eye toward this so-called “generation ADD.” The reality is, Grandpa wants to do his eLearning from the barbershop, too.