Talk about the Digital Divide between those with access to information technology and those without it is well over a decade old. But what about the divide between how the older and younger technicians and mechanics look at technology? As writer Bill Siru discussed in our March issue, there is only going to be more technology and it's going to require more training.
Education Week points to an interesting survey on the differences between how Boomers (ages 44-60), Generation X (ages 29-43) and Generation Y (ages 28 and younger) use technology. One interesting question for this blog is about the blogging. Only 28 percent of Boomers think it's acceptable to blog about work-related issues while 40 percent of Gen Y workers do. Even more striking, 62 percent of Gen Y access a social network (LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, etc) from work, but only 14 percent of Boomers do.
All of those in the survey were in white collar jobs and most of the technologies were PDAs, social networking, email, etc., but the survey could pose some interesting questions for those in the school bus maintenance and heavy-duty diesel repair industries:
- Are older employees reluctant to use laptops, PDAs and other digital diagnostic tools or are they eager to learn?
- Are younger employees more inclined to use the Web, email, social networks, this site etc. to solve difficult problems in the garage or find out about new technologies?
- Are younger employees more interested in learning about alt-fuel technologies (i.e. CNG, Propane, Hybrid-Electric, Electric, Hydrogen)?
- If your younger employees are coming in with knowledge of "new" technologies (Web, laptop, digital diagnostics, alt-fuels, etc), how are you reaching out to your older employees?
- Do you have a clear and up-to-date policy about what technologies (cell phones, email, social networks, etc) are acceptable at work?