Let’s say you have a 27-year-old employee—Sam. Born in 1983, by the tender age of 10 he was a video gaming terror and a skilled user of his dad’s computer. Fast forward to 1998 and 15-year-old Sam is online every day for several hours. By college graduation, in 2005, Sam has spent more minutes of his life in the digital world—texting, playing video games, surfing and using social media—than he’s spent reading, studying, or even sleeping.
So when smart, tech-savvy Sam comes to work for your company, the last thing you want to do is hand him a three-ring binder jam-packed with training content and tell him to read it. His brain’s wired differently and requires a more blended approach for learning to be effective, according to Matt Richtel’s recent New York Times feature, Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction. “Their brains are rewarded not for staying on task but for jumping to the next thing,” says one expert from Harvard Medical School quoted in the article. In other words, after years texting and multitasking, their brains are accustomed to rapid change rather than extended focus. Or as one young man interviewed for the article said “[On YouTube] you can get a whole story in six minutes. . . . A book takes so long. I prefer the immediate gratification.”
Although parents and educators express concern about the eroding attention span of the digital generation, many teachers—including some of the most popular and effective teachers across the country—have chosen to embrace technology. Geoff Diesel, a 40-year old teacher of English and film studies at the California high school featured in the Times article, tries to reach young people on their own terms: “It’s in their DNA to look at screens. . . . If I’m not using technology, I lose them completely.”
Don’t want to lose your bright young people? Our blended learning approach can help you unlock their potential. Our game-like eLearning courses immerse your employees in context-specific scenarios and teach important skills and behaviors. And our interactive workbooks use challenging, self-directed activities with mentor checkpoints to reinforce comprehension while allowing learners to move from task-to-task and not get bored. See if our interactive training doesn’t beat what you’re currently using. Either way, we’d love to hear what you think. Send us an email or give us a call at 804.888.6222.