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What Gap? What the Generations Say About Learning and Technology in the Workplace

by on March 24, 2015

It certainly seems to me that having witnessed a boom in news coverage about generational differences over the years since we started this blog, we now seem to be seeing many more articles written across a wide range of outlets suggesting that  some of these ‘differences’ might not be as different as we first thought.  In fairness where we criticise some of the methodological bases of the first type of report we should also highlight deficiencies in the second!

So this is not to say that these findings about a lack of differences in what generations say about learning and technology at work are problem free.  Although the sample size seems reasonable (422) we get very little information in this piece about how the ‘comprehensive research’ was carried out – a complaint we often make about research that does find generational differences.  What is interesting here is that it does seem that they did set out to find generational differences – but didn’t!

As the article on CED, by Wayne Applehans of Jones NCTI says: “We set out to understand generational views of learning and development, and how the different generations want to use technology at work.  Instead of major differences, we found striking similarities across all three generations when it comes to training and technology. Learning and development matters to everyone, regardless of age or life stage“. While the report does highlight some minor differences, the overwhelming findings suggest commonalities around issues of technology rather than generational difference.

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