Engaging Digital Natives

Engaging digital natives with technology

Engaging Digital Natives with elearning is essential in a world of electronic devices. Who are the Digital Natives? What are the new rules for learner engagement? How do you plan elearning for Digital Natives? Nipun Sharma answers these questions by covering 7 main principles, all of which are summarised below. Read more in detail here.

The Digital Natives don’t need to learn how to use mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets. They don’t need to learn these new skills, therefore elearning becomes more about how to use these mobile devices as tools to improve learning outcomes.

  1. Online Training Must Have a Purpose — Digital Natives need to have a purpose for engaging with online content. The elearning content should have a relationship to a real-life example, so there is a purposeful application to real life.
  2. Clarify Communication Expectations — Digital Natives expect an immediate response to their email or equivalent. Be sure to clarify how questions will be answered and the associated timeline, so Digital Natives will not become frustrated.
  3. Social Media is Important — Digital Natives need a social network to communicate with each other. Be sure to include social interaction with any elearning task.
  4. Use of App — Digital Natives are familiar with using apps on mobile devices. All elearning tasks should be designed to be used by the learner on a mobile app.
  5. Be Aware of Current Tools — Digital Natives are good at determining what online tools are the best to use for different situations. There is a multitude of online tools on the market, but not all are relevant. Be sure to know what online tools the Digital Native are using and why.
  6. Interactive Experiences are Important — Digital Natives learn best when they can interact with the content. The days of the static PowerPoint are over because information presented this way can no longer sustain learner attention. For example, digital natives need to see moving objects, press buttons, or listen to catchy music to engaging with the content.
  7. Control is Needed — Digital Natives need control over their own learning pathway. They need the freedom to set there own learning goals and set their own timetable to achieve these goals.

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