George Lucas Educational Foundation

Welcome to the Digital Generation

Sync up with the new generation of connected learners. The Digital Generation Project presents video portraits of the lives of young students from around the country who are using digital media to learn, communicate, and socialize in new and exciting ways.
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Welcome to the Digital Generation (Transcript)

Teacher 1: -- the most important things we learn about the galaxy, the great power of the universe. And please look around you--

Voice Over: This is the digital generation.

Girl 1: I text more than I call people. Like no one calls anyone anymore.

Girl 2: My iPod is like my entire life.

Voice Over: A generation of kids raised in a media rich, networked world of infinite possibilities.

Boy 1: A lot of my movies are special effects, things that you really couldn't do in real life.

Voice Over: They are learning, communicating and socializing in new and exciting ways.

Boy 2: I'm showing video to the other people that are in the meeting to get them to help review.

Voice Over: For them, technology is more than a tool. It's an essential component of everyday life that frames their world view.

Girl 3: These are all different people in need in Haiti, and click on one of these families. Learn more.

Voice Over: But there's more to their world than just playing with cool gadgets. It's about engagement.

Boy 2: Okay, guys, join.

Voice Over: Self directed learning.

Boy 3: It's not just animation. You need to know a lot of different things like biology, to see how things move.

Voice Over: Creativity.

Girl 4: This is my avatar as she typically will look.

Voice Over: And empowerment.

Girl 5: Do you think there can be people that will try and hurt you on a website? I'm teaching young, elementary kids how to stay safe online.

Voice Over: They're hyper connected to their friends and family, mastering new tools and techniques with ease.

Girl 1: I like this 'cause it's competitive and it's really using strategy in your mind.

Henry Jenkins: For those kids who become leaders of guilds in World of Warcraft, that's as much an experience as being the captain of the football team, being the editor of the school newspaper.

Voice Over: Behind every successful kid are adults and peers who guide, motivate and support them.

Akili Lee: Kids on their own are jumping across from all these different mediums, so we really need to kinda explore all of them as well, and try to support kids to become better producers and consumers.

Did you put sound in it?

Boy 5: It's annoying. I don't like it anymore.

Kevin: Very rarely, the kids look at instruction manuals these days. They are empowered to just go out and learn, and if I'm a parent and I'm wondering, "Wow, how do I provide the technology resources for my children?" just get outta their way.

Liz Perle: Hey, this digital life, it's a good thing. It's gonna help your kids create, meet people, explore, compose, express themselves. They have more powerful tools than they've ever had in any generation in history.

Voice Over: This is the digital generation. Welcome to their world.

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Video Credits

Produced and Directed by

  • Ken Ellis

Coordinating Producer

  • Lauren Rosenfeld


  • Karen Sutherland

Camera Crew

  • Mike Elwell
  • Doug Keely

Production Support

  • Amy Erin Borovoy

Written by

  • Ken Ellis
  • Chris Walsh


  • Peter Coyote


  • Ed Bogas

Special Thanks to

  • Michael Pritchard
  • Jason Lustig
  • Jeff Fillingim-Selk
  • and students at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School

Comments (8) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

peggy sikes's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I need everything you have on these subjects...constantly searching for the best ways to reach all my learners

LaRenda Hutt's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Please forward suggestions of what parents need to do in order to support and track progress of student academic achivement with and without technology.

Kimberly Ellis's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Children are surrounded by technology from an extremely young age. These days children have the world wide web at their fingertips--they can access information on any desired subject in seconds, they Instant Message on their computer and/or cell phone, text on their cell phones, capture and listen to their favorite music on a pocket-sized contraption called an IPod, play special-effects filled interactive video games with people from around the globe, communicate with anyone in the world connected to the Internet via webblogs or email, and they can even reach others via video-to-video connections on skype. These technologies afford children almost instantaneous gratification. Our children quickly get accustomed to immediate results or responses. So why would children who have access to such fast-paced technological tools be engaged in school when teachers are still using lecturing and/or paper and pencil methods of learning? As teachers and parents, we must find an effective way in which to engage and challenge our 21st century learners.
Using lessons involving digital storytellings, utilizing Internet research rather than book research, webquests, blogs that showcase student work and blogs for content-based projects, interactive computer games, and powerpoint presentations are a number of ways we can engage this new type of learner. We must design lessons that employ creativity, encourage self-directed learning, and scaffold academic independence. Implementing technology into our classrooms improves student engagement, empowers our 21st century learners, and lessens negative behaviors we often encounter.

ducafelipe's picture

Wonder how many school and educators will agree with the digital generation? Nevertheless, never give up to try and persuade teachers to shift the practice.

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Kathleen Huey's picture

With many districts blocking currnt websites (You tube, Facebook etc.),that lead to moving us into the digital age, educators have a hindrence right from the start in teaching students how, when, and where to access the sites and the safety precautions they would need to follow while using them.

Sharon Powers's picture
Sharon Powers
High School Special Education Teacher

The students I teach are tech-savvy and equipped with personal digital devices at school,although they aren't permitted to use them during school hours. As educators, we need to harness the potential of current and emerging technology to integrate its power into our curriculum in order to capture and maintain students' interest in academic endeavors.

guadalupe g negrete's picture
guadalupe g negrete
2nd grade Bilingual Teacher

This video presentation on Digital Generation is so interesting and true that I believe all educators should have to see. It's amazing how our children are almost already introduced to technology at such a young age. We can almost say that they are introduced to technology before they are born. Many of us need to upgrade our education to keep up with our students. Otherwise, we are the ones that are going to be left behind and lost in this Digital World Generation!

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