Net Generation Learners
Traditional-age students who are now entering colleges and universities may never have known life without the Internet. They consider the Internet essential to life, learning, work, and leisure and have different behaviors, attitudes, and aptitudes as a result of their exposure to technology. In many cases, the perspective of the Net Generation varies significantly from that of today's college and university administrators and faculty.
The stereotypical image of the college student as an 18–23 year-old in residential, full-time study is being challenged by a new reality. The U.S. economy is now information-driven and a college degree has become increasingly important for both new entrants into the labor force as well as those already employed. Adults have become a rapidly growing part of the student population at colleges and universities nationwide. However, practices designed for a traditional age population do not necessarily serve an adult learner well.
While we automatically think of students as learners, faculty are learners as well. This may be particularly true for learning technologies. Most faculty received their academic training in a pre-Internet world, and they may have had no formal exposure to learning principles and practices. Because technology, pedagogy, and disciplines change, faculty are lifelong learners.