Teens & User Interface Design
Pepperdine University Guest Lecture e-handout

Social Media, Gen Y & Digital Learning Styles

Journal of Educational Technology Systems
Issue: Volume 34, Number 1 / 2005-2006

User Experience Design Strategies: Utilizing Social Networking Media To Support "Always On" Learning Styles

Derek E. Baird and Mercedes Fisher


Raised in the "always on" world of interactive & social media, the Internet, TV 2.0 and digital messaging technologies, today's student has different media consumption expectations than previous generations. This net-centric generation values their ability to use the Web to create a self-paced, customized, on-demand learning path that includes multiple forms of interactive, social, and self-publishing media tools.

First, we investigate the formation of a burgeoning digital pedagogy that roots itself in current adult and social learning theories, while integrating social networking, user experience design strategies, and other emerging technologies into the curriculum to support student learning.

Next, we explore how current and emerging social networking media (such as blogs, iPod, RSS/XML, podcasting, wiki's, YackPack, Flickr, Twitter and other self-publishing media) can support digital learning styles, facilitate the formation of virtual learning communities, foster user engagement and reflection, and enhance the overall user experience for students in synchronous and asynchronous learning environments.

The data included in this article are intended as directional means to help instructors, interactive designers, media technologists and course designers identify social networking resources and other emerging technologies that will enhance the delivery of instruction while meeting the educational media consumption needs of today's generational learning styles.

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