Asking: for your thoughts

I'm working on a big essay at the moment, which is relatively unstructured but quite interesting and I'd really like to hear any ideas you folks out there have on the subject.

The official topic is

Topic: What are the implications of the ‘Net Generation’ on the design of interactive multimedia learning resources?

This task requires you to submit an essay in which you critically analyse the current debate on the issue of the ‘Net Generation’ and consider what this phenomenon (if it indeed exists) means for those designing interactive multimedia resources.

So it is a fairly interesting subject - there has been so much in the media about the so-called Net-Gen a.k.a Gen Y a.k.a The Millenials etc - often in the context of the "moral panic" about YouTube bullying, MySpace predators, violent video games and the like. This on top of general generational harping about how Gen Ys are spoilt, self-centred, fame obsessed and walk into the workplace expecting to be made manager five minutes later.

These of course are the negatives and I did find a nice quote which pops up from time to time attributed to Socrates (by way of Plato) -

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

Apparently this is a bit of a misquote but it's indicative of the fact that perhaps the teens and 20somethings of any generation have always been looked down upon.

As far as technology, multimedia and education go, I think we can look at this generation as different in someways - Marc Prensky refers to them as digital natives (as opposed to digital immigrants) - people who have grown up knowing nothing other than the digital age. This is perhaps more the approach that I'm considering.

The predominance of the social web (MySpace, YouTube etc) as well as Computer mediated communications (Instant Messaging) and the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones will also come into play, I'm just unclear as to what it all means.

What better opportunity that to use the strengths of this social web to pick your brains dear reader and see what you think.

Please feel free to say anything, even (or especially) if you haven't commented before.