Mindsets and Millennials

If Beloit College has released its mindset list for the class of 2014 yet, I didn’t see it, so we’ll settle for 2013. A few items of interest from the list of facts about the students who would have completed their first year of college this year:

Britney Spears has always been heard on classic rock stations.

There has always been a computer in the Oval Office.

Everyone has always known what the evening news was before the Evening News came on.

There has always been a Planet Hollywood.

Salsa has always outsold ketchup.

These lists are always funny and disconcerting. Sometimes they are downright shocking. It’s important to stop and think where our students are coming from, though, especially when designing course materials.

If you want a little more serious-minded information about the next generation, take a look at the Pew Internet reports on millennials.

Three-quarters have created a profile on a social networking site. One-in-five have posted a video of themselves online.

They are more ethnically and racially diverse than older adults. They’re less religious, less likely to have served in the military, and are on track to become the most educated generation in American history.

Be sure to take the quiz, “How Millennial Are You?”  This places me, amazingly enough, right where I actually fall age-wise on their scale, as a Gen Xer.

Plenty has been said and plenty has been studied about working with the Milliennial generation, but for a quick intro, consider this clip from 60 Minutes.

And so it boils down to “lifestyle matters more than anything else.” What does that mean for the classroom?

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