Wednesday, March 2, 2011

X Marks the Spot (Generation X teachers), but are we Fitter Happier more productive

I am going to go right out a limb here with a broad brush and splash a bit of text around ...[insert legal babel that I mean no harm] Being a Generation X teacher means for me that I have a highly critical view of any form of media, especially commercially based media and possibly the whole modernist ideal of unfettered continual economic growth, essentially my views could broadly seen as postmodern [1]. Unlike my more mature colleagues who fought for or against the reds under the bed only to watch it all implode, 

Everything is borrowed
As the Iron Curtain cracked the fall of the wall looked inevitable. In the evening of November 9th, 1989 Gunter Schabowski, Minister of Propoganda, read out a note at a press conference announcing that the border would be opened for "private trips abroad” (  

It was cool to be a leftist and Che Guevara was on t-shirts but I think only a few would have wadded  their way through Das-Capital in earnest. Generation X , in Australia at least, watched the recession we had to have unfold upon our parents. Things where rather bleak on the employment front and being at school during the final phase of your high school education was not very encouraging. Those who could got jobs or went to University some just bounced from job to job [2]

It was not really until my early twenties that the internet started to become something to watch, essentially late 80's early 90's saw the explosion of the online world. Essentially generation X was at a very important juncture in history we saw the Net grow exponentially but at the same time remembered pre-Internet mass media, Television, Radio and Print. Now we have young families and watch our children engage with the multitude of media spaces that exist. However, times are different our children and generation Y have the opportunity to be far more creative using technology that are far more powerful than those enjoyed by earlier generations. But the question is will they use this opportunity to become thoughtful creators of content and will we as Generation X teachers help them develop the critical skills for becoming active and informed contributors on the Net. Furthermore, can we teach these skills within existing educational and institutional paradigms? And one final question, as Gen X are we, Fitter Happier More Productive?


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