The new Beloit College 2016 Mindset List — a great start-of-the-school-year conversation piece for adults — is out.
At the beginning of each academic year, several faculty members at Beloit compile a list to demonstrate how students in the entering freshman college class experience life, learning, and culture differently from many of the adults they know. Some items are silly, others compare digital kids with their parents’ generation; some I don’t understand; and others I can fit into a bit of context, but they are mostly unfamiliar to me.
The list’s mission is to remind educators and parents that it takes energy and openness to new literacies to understand how dramatically the “growing-up” and learning processes change over time (and many of these have nothing to do with digital life).
Every fall I look forward to the release of this list, which Beloit releases just before the start of the school year. I’ve included a few of my favorites from this year.
- They have never seen an airplane ticket. (#9)
- For most of their lives, maintaining relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world has been a woman’s job in the State Department. (#12)
- They can’t picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it .(#13)
- Before they purchase an assigned textbook, they will investigate whether it is available for rent or purchase as an e-book. (#47)
This year’s introduction to the Mindset list:
This year’s entering college class of 2016 was born into cyberspace and they have therefore measured their output in the fundamental particles of life: bits, bytes, and bauds. They have come to political consciousness during a time of increasing doubts about America’s future, and are entering college bombarded by questions about jobs and the value of a college degree. They have never needed an actual airline ticket, a set of bound encyclopedias, or Romper Room.
Members of this year’s freshman class, most of them born in 1994, are probably the most tribal generation in history and they despise being separated from contact with friends.