40 Things That Have Credibility With Students That Grew Up Google

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growing-up-google-natives40 Things That Have Credibility with Google Natives

by Terry Heick

Google launched 16 years ago, in 1998.

That means your average high school student has never known a world without Google. Some students have parents who “Googled” when they were younger, which makes them second-generation Googlers.

Being able to Google “things” really was an interesting leap that we now take for granted. So many cultural patterns were simply wiped out by the ability to pick up a phone and find the most obscure information at any time. It connected anyone with the most random, odd, or fascinating tidbits with a few keystrokes.

Students today–those who “grew up Google”–are now a kind of mash of social media, YouTube, and search engine (though oddly, no one under the age of 30 likes Google+), which has given them a unique view of reality. Different things have credibility in their eyes.

This matters for teachers, of course, because we need to know what has credibility in their eyes. What they respond to. What makes them tick.

The themes are simple enough: being rebellious, social, and fun-loving. But there may be some takeaways we can use to adjust our craft if we pay close enough attention. If you have any such takeaways, let me know in the comments.

40 Things That Have Credibility with Students That Grew Up Google

1. Their close friends (less to do with tech–some things never change)

2. WiFi (it’s not just “convenient,” they tend to think of WiFi how older generations grew up thinking of telephones or television–par for the course)

3. Believing that they know technology better than adults (it’s like a secret language)

4. Tagging-as-endorsement (e.g., photographs on social media)

5. Any app that connects them to another human being

6. Snapchat

7. Anything funny

8. Brief bursts of communication (as opposed to extended dialogue)

9. YouTubers (i.e., YouTube personalities that make videos and have huge, huge followings)

10. Apple products

11. Selfies (they’ve just gotten more complex, include photobombing, etc.)

12. Snark (those who are good at it generate a special kind of digital street cred)

13. Vine (spend a few days on vine, and you’ll learn a lot)

14. Free everything (music, games, downloads, apps, etc.)

15. Rebels (this one’s timeless as well)

16. Athletes (many athletes double as social media stars)

17. Letter grades (somehow this persists)

18. Peer pressure (it’s just social media-based)

19. Social traction (it’s the new popular)

20. Instagram (tumblr too, but that one seems to be fading some)

21. Badges & Achievements (this is more for younger students–especially elementary males)

22. Randomness (my 6 year-old points out “random” things all the time)

23. gif animations (especially using iconic gif animations to reflect your response to social events)

24. Equity; sustainable business practices (social visibility for greedy, large corporations has imbued Google kids with at least an awareness of sustainability)

25. Memes (though these are evolving as well)

26. Disruption (of anything)

27. Kik (a messaging service)

28. Diversity & acceptance (as opposed to mere “tolerance”) of different cultures, races, religion, sexual preference, etc.)

29. Acronyms (especially “inside” acronyms that obscure communication from adults)

30. Asynchronous Hashtag conversations (students A tweets at 2 pm, best friend “responds” at 3:45–both talking to one another in front of all of their followers and followers of a hashtag; basically a public exchange of messages drawn out over time)

31. Attractive people/style/fashion/makeup/6-packs (a byproduct of the social, selfie-generation?)

32. ask.fm (this one’s weird–I don’t get it)

33. Socially-conscious hip-hop (gangsta rap is out in the mainstream, replaced by hip-hop that defies what their parents think of hip-hop)

34. “Nerds” (not all nerds, but being smart isn’t as brutal today as it might’ve been in the past)

35. Defriending/unfollowing/upvoting/downvoting as social statement

36. Soccer (or football–well, football outside the U.S., soccer here, which–well, nevermind)

37. Coding (teenage millionaires have a way of getting their attention)

38. XP (experience points–as in a gamification system, for example)

39. Wikipedia

40. Limiting their perception of the world to Google searches, Wikipedia skims, and what the apps on their smartphone allow them to do

40 Things That Have Credibility with Students That Grew Up Google

  • Liz Scott

    In our BYOD universe, it can be surprising when a student who is following the teacher’s presentation uses a smartphone to find supporting or additional information. While it is disconcerting when it happens for the first few times, it does show a level of engagement with the topic. . .