Today, my son, who is now 12, has a Go Pro camera that he straps to his head while riding his bike, skateboarding, or just performing skits with his friends. It’s a rare day when he doesn’t create a video. After recording a file, he connects the camera to our iMac, adds cool flashes and explosions in vibrant colors to the raw video clips in Adobe After Effects, uploads the enhanced files into his YouTube account, and then merges the clips together online in a Web browser using the new built-in YouTube editor (complete with titles, transitions, and Creative Commons music to drop in). Then he publishes the video (with a “public” setting because, to him, anything else is “pointless”) and anxiously waits to see how many views the video receives, who subscribes to his channel, and whether anyone leaves a comment.

To my digital-native son, it is the quality of the socialization that surrounds the sharing of his video that validates the quality of his work. This is a tremendous disconnect between today’s youth and academia. If more college professors would participate in social media and begin to comprehend what it feels like to share your work and have it be commented on by the world, we would be taking one huge step forward to reflect and evaluate how the social era could be leveraged to craft relevant college learning experiences.