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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Discussion Begin - The Next Generation

Last week I reported about an online discussion that was going to be held on the ITForum listserve (see The Next Generation). Well, today begins the discussion and the initial message has been posted by the listserve's moderator:
Discussion Week- First Questions Thoughts

Well..after reading the paper, I have decided that if the GenXers are going to be considered technological dinosaurs, then I must be prehistoric sludge ! :).

As I read through the paper, the one thing that struck me most was the feeling that there is really no training being planned or considered for the Boomers and maybe just a little more for the GenX. It is mostly about the younger generations and that indicates a basic underlying problem with our throw away society. Is someone no longer considered useful and needing training for improving present or future skills, volunteer work, etc just because they don't care to indulge in games that might be considered an escape from rather than a confrontation of issues of the day? The paper did not mention one thing I could find about designing for the Boomer age group/range as compared to the game groups in the current business world state.

I have been doing some research lately into the transfer of training issue and this paper seems to promote the idea of spending millions on gaming training, because that is what it will cost to constantly develop games with no proof that it will yield any better results and for less expense or more effective instruction. Is there really any proof that gaming is any better than movies, educational tv, cbt, wbt, elearning, mlearning and all of the other technological "hurrays" that have gone through the educational/training systems? The cost and time of designing such training in a rapidly changing environment would be astronomical. Why should there be such an emphasis on adrenalin/stress promoting training design as this paper mentions in order to "keep up the pace"?

Training design should always be contextual and it can be engaging, but "fun" is not a requirement. Motivation involves many things and enjoyable does not necessarily mean "fun" and there is considerable difference about what one might consider "fun".

There are two or three things that stick out most in my mind. One is that there a definite bias towards promoting the younger generations when thinking that training should involve games, there is little or no mention of gender differences in the "game" design issue and there is a definite bias against the SES futures of those who cannot afford the education and training to be included in the literature/surveys. Is gaming really the way to promote knowledge/training for this group of people who may not be able to afford a computer, have limited access even in school and yet would be expected to have "gaming" skills for training purposes/design? What happened to learner analysis?
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I hope to see you there...

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