Dancing With Digital Natives: Staying in Step With the Generation That's Transforming the Way Business Is Done

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New Business Book Provides Insights and Advice On Employing, Entertaining, Educating, and Marketing to Members of the First Generation Born Into a World of Ubiquitous Digital Technology

Dancing With Digital Natives

"The wide array of fresh insights offered gives educators, employers and marketers the techniques and tools to better understand this challenging generation."

John Palfrey, co-author, Born Digital

Information Today, Inc. (ITI) announced the publication of Dancing With Digital Natives: Staying in Step With the Generation That’s Transforming the Way Business Is Done, edited by Michelle Manafy and Heidi Gautschi.

The new book brings together research, opinions, and business advice on “digital natives,” a term coined by author Marc Prensky to describe a generation of young people who have “spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age.” Flawed stereotypes of digital natives abound, but not in dispute is that, globally, an increasingly mobile, socially networked consumer base and workforce is creating fundamental changes in the way business is done.

“Generational differences have always influenced how business is done, but in the case of digital natives we are witnessing a tectonic shift,” Michelle Manafy said. “We are connected to and must tap into this generation as we educate them and work with them, and as they become the dominant consuming force.” Heidi Gautschi added, “We must understand how their lifelong immersion in digital technologies colors every aspect of their behavior, so that we can maximize their effectiveness in the workplace and understand their buying behaviors.”

In Dancing With Digital Natives, Manafy and Gautschi and twenty contributors explore a wide range of business issues and impacts. They offer nineteen thought-provoking chapters organized in four major parts: “The Digital Native Goes to Work,” “Marketing and Selling to the Digital Native,” “Entertaining the Digital Native,” and “Educating the Digital Native.” The editors solicited contributions from experts working in diverse sectors in order to provide a broad overview of the first generation of digital natives.

“Contributors come from both the business and the academic worlds and some have a foot in both,” Manafy said. “Their generations range from baby boomers to the natives themselves.” The contributors are Mary Ann Bell, Shashi Bellamkonda, Sarah Bryans Bongey, Jami L. Carlacio, Albert M. Erisman, Brynn Evans, Susan Evans, Lance Heidig, David Hubbard, Richard Hull,Marshall Lager, Christa M. Miller, Emilie Moreau, Carolina M. Reid, Rebecca Rufo-Tepper, Michael P. Russell, Peggy Anne Salz, Dan Schawbel, Arana Shapiro, and Robert J. Torres.

Addressing the impact of digital natives in the workplace in Chapter 1 of Dancing With Digital Natives, contributor Brynn Evans explains, “It’s not just their hip iPhones and contemporary slang (‘Facebook me!’) that marks this as a new era. Their work practice is fundamentally changing as they live and breathe this culture of distributed networking and social technologies.” Evans, chief experience officer at a stealth tech startup in San Francisco, adds, “It may never be a practice that managers and previous generations wish to embrace personally—and that’s fine. They will, however, need to recognize and understand this emerging work practice if they wish to maximize the digital native workforce.”

Dancing With Digital Natives has garnered strong pre-publication praise from a number of leading writers and researchers who have studied the phenomenon. Don Tapscott, author of Grown Up Digital, said “The wide array of fresh insights offered gives educators, employers and marketers the techniques and tools to better understand this challenging generation.” John Palfrey, co-author of Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives, said “This remarkable group of editors and authors present a range of opinions about the challenges and opportunities of business life in a digital era. ... No matter what, this book will make you think.” And Lou Frillman, Chairman of the Unity Fund who held multiple leadership roles in Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, said, “The digital native generation doesn’t want to be talked to; young people want to interact, engage, and effect change. … Dancing With Digital Natives shows you how to make that real connection happen.”

ABOUT THE EDITORS
Michelle Manafy is director of content for FreePint, Ltd. and was previously editorial director of the Enterprise Group for Information Today, Inc. An award-winning writer and editor, her focus is on emerging trends in digital content and how they shape successful business practices. In addition to writing on such technology topics as digital publishing, econtent development, and social media, Michelle is a sought-after speaker and a dedicated mentor to many digital natives.

Heidi Gautschi grew up in France and the United States, and continues to divide her time between the two countries. She has taught in the French university system for more than ten years, most recently at University of Lille 3, and developed her intense interest in digital natives from experiences and observations both in and beyond the classroom. Her research looks at the cultural, social, political, and economic implications of communication technology.

Dancing With Digital Natives: Staying in Step With the Generation That’s Transforming the Way Business Is Done (408pp/hardbound/$27.95/ISBN 978-0-910965-87-3) is a CyberAge Book from Information Today, Inc. (ITI). It is available in bookstores through Independent Publishers Group (IPG) and direct from the publisher. For more information visit the ITI website at http://www.infotoday.com.

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