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Catching up with the new social norm

Jack Loo | Aug. 14, 2008
Tertiary students are today Web 2.0-savvy. Companies who are still unsure about how to deal with this new trend should take note.

Tertiary students, who will be joining the workforce in a few years, are today Web 2.0-savvy. Companies who are still unsure about how to deal with this new trend should take note.

Measures such as preventing the use of applications like IM applications would be much akin to banning mobile phones in offices in the 90s as the devices were starting to become part of peoples daily lives. Or worse, similar to the trend of declaring rock n roll music as a form of satanic worship in the 50s and 60s.

Today, Web 2.0 is changing how teachers teach their students in school, according to Michael Netzley, Assistant Professor, Singapore Management University who teaches corporate communications and social media at the school. He was speaking at the Web 2.0 Conference organised by IDC.

Days of the textbooks are long gone, he proclaimed. Paper is being replaced by Web 2.0 tools that range from podcasts and YouTube.

The old way of sage on the stage style of teaching, where information is passed down hierarchically, is being replaced by a model where knowledge is co-created and the information that flows in multiple directions.

In a project for Netzleys class where the students have to learn about the media landscape for Asian countries, RSS applications are used to receive relevant information. These news feeds can be forwarded to mobile devices and even students Facebook accounts, for discussion among themselves.

Once students like the ones from Netzleys class goes into the workforce, they would be expecting tools like IMs and wikis to aid them. Anything less, would be a trip back to the Stone Ages.  

Managers that would be leading these young talents have to adjust their leadership and communication style, said Netzley. Who knows? We might learn a little from them.

A staff writer with Fairfax Business Media, Jack Loo is a full-time web and magazine reading addict, from to webmonkey and monocle.


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