Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Grow Weary Hearing About How This Generation Is So Different From Every Generation That Preceded It

It's been said about every generation that's ever come before--this one is different, they need to be dealt with differently. They won't fit in the same mold as their parents, they're new and exciting.

And to a certain point that's true, and we should hope for it to be true. But let's not make a fetish out of this.

I don't give a darn if the current college-age generation is used to being wired 24/7. Perhaps, just perhaps, learning requires the same thing it's always required--focused contemplative attention on the one topic at hand. And that doesn't require teaching students differently just because they'd prefer to be taught differently:

Community colleges are facing the iGeneration, writes Community College Week. Wired students expect to learn online just as they do everything else online.

Community colleges must respond to the new learners, said Pamela K. Quinn, provost of the LeCroy Center for Educational Telecommunications, the online arm of the Dallas County Community College District.

We should teach in the manner that's most appropriate for the subject matter we're teaching, not in the manner most desirable or pleasant for students--and certainly not in the manner that's become the latest educational fad.

In other words, close the laptop, put away the smartphone, and listen to what your teacher/professor is telling you. Someone, including taxpayers, is paying a lot of money for you to get an education, so do us all a favor and pay attention to the person paid to share their knowledge with you.


mrelliott said...


Ellen K said...

I am tired of a generation that can change their wallpaper, their ring tone and their type font expecting the entire world to conform to their individual wants. Part of the problem we are seeing is the extension of helicopter parenting wherein the children expect/demand services far in excess of what serves the overall community. We see it in the way they treat school, in the way they respond to the world in public situations as consumers and in the way they behave. These kids are shocked that bad decisions can kill them. They do not understand that actions like texting while driving are dangerous. Their attitude is "I want to do it, so I should be able to do it." I don't know what sort of epiphany it's going to take to turn them around.

Darren said...

What epiphany? I found that having a child is a *great* one!

Anonymous said...

I would like to raise the possibility that the students don't have much of an actual expectation at all. Most of them are *hoping* to get (or coast to ...) a degree which they then hope/expect will land them a job.

Many of them are going to be disappointed, because an easy degree from a 3rd tier college isn't worth much.

But ... I don't see any *evidence* that these kids "expect" any particular mollycoddling. Do we have any evidence? Or do we have somebody with a book making unsubstantiated claims?

-Mark Roulo

Darren said...

I guess it's possible that the students have no expectations at all, and that people from my generation make this stuff up in order to sound hip, knowledgeable, or important, but seeing how difficult it is for some people not to have a phone in their hands for an hour makes me wonder.