the tech post

This blog is about technology, software and social media. It's aimed as much towards 'normal' people as the tech savvy. The author is Tony Gallacher.

After Generation Y, Generation Y-not? (Part 1)

No one in the printing industry, or outside it, had any idea that the iPad would come along and destroy three- to four-thousand-year-old human traditions concerning paper, as they didn’t realise that there was now a new generation out there who are far more prepared to read from a screen than the printed page.

– Gary Peterson, chief executive of Gap Intelligence

iPad 2 and several magazines

iPad 2 and several magazines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like Peterson, many of us are acutely conscious of technology as it continues to infiltrate and alter every aspect of our lives. It seems that if we set any object down, by the time we reach for it again, it will have been replaced with a digital version.

This applies even to processes and products like print media that, once, we assumed were immutable. It looks like we will have to constantly adapt to new technologies, just to keep up.

Digitally Agile Scotland

With this in mind, I went along to a seminar called Digitally Agile Scotland, on 29 March. It was hosted at the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow. There, I joined a range of community organisations to share ideas about how to use social media effectively. Thirty delegates took part in a mix of team discussions and talks. The event highlighted the crucial role digital tools play now, particularly in community engagement.

The event began with a presentation from Derek Robertson, National Adviser for Emerging Technologies and Learning to Education Scotland. He demonstrated a range of digital resources which community initiatives can use to reach a wider audience. Using some excellent web and video examples, Derek also covered some reasons why digital agility is becoming an increasingly important skill for all of us.

A magazine is an iPad that does not work

I think Derek’s most effective video was of a baby using an iPad. She seemed to share a natural affinity with it. The 1-year-old had discovered that you could touch and swipe the screen to play games and view stories. It was fun.

But when her tablet was taken away and she was given a dumb magazine, she became confused and frustrated. Why didn’t the pictures respond and animate under her fingers the way they were supposed to?

Derek asked us to imagine how in tune with technology she will be, by the time she’s a teenager. The message was that community groups will need to adapt, if they hope to engage her as she gets older. Generation Y-not? will come after Generation Y.

Research Initiative

The seminar was part of a wider research initiative that will include a skills survey, case studies and a literature review. The Scottish Community Development Centre, Youthlink Scotland and Learning Link Scotland are working in partnership to deliver the Digitally Agile Project which aims:

To provide Scottish Government, Education Scotland [and partners] with a picture of current practice and skills in the sector and the…enablers to be put in place for future opportunities, resourcing and upskilling for the community learning and development sector.

A lot of great ideas and views were collected on the day. They will contribute to the Digitally Agile Project’s findings.

What do you think about digital agility? What tips do you have for keeping up with technology?

Part 2 tomorrow. In the mean time, if you found this Tech Post article useful, please share it…

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3 comments on “After Generation Y, Generation Y-not? (Part 1)

  1. Alex (@BerrypiOrg)
    April 25, 2012

    “A magazine is an iPad that does not work”
    What a great illustration of the huge change going on right now.

    • Tony Gallacher
      April 26, 2012

      I agree. I think this is an exciting time and it’s different from the millennium tech bubble where every new start up was just another e-commerce site.

      New companies are creating more and more great products, apps and software all the time. And a lot of them really add something new and useful.

  2. Pingback: After Generation Y, Generation Y-not? (Part 2 – Digital Evolution ) « the tech post

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