Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Higher Education for Multi-Taskers: A Online Discussion
I was recently sent the following message, and thought it might be of interest:
Higher Education for Multi-Taskers: A Online Discussion Hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education
Wednesday, October 5, at 2 p.m., U.S. Eastern time
The description of the event asks whether “Millennial” students need to be taught in new ways, or whether this is merely “pandering.” I would ask a related question: what about Millennial academics? If being “Millennial” means having been born between 1980 and 1994, there must be some out there, and more all the time. Will we need to, I dunno, podcast departmental meetings in future?
[cross-posted to my blog]
To join the live online discussion visit:
Raised amid a barrage of information, students born from roughly 1980 to 1994 are expert multitaskers and savvy consumers who expect quick results. Richard T. Sweeney, university librarian at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, says colleges must redesign themselves to meet the demands of this “Millennial” generation by making courses more image-based and interactive, schedules more flexible, and learning more student-driven. Others say today’s students are just as capable as their predecessors of learning in traditional ways. What do you think?
More on the Topic:
Playing with iPods and surfing the Web are second nature to so-called Millennials. They are different from past students in other ways, too, says Richard T. Sweeney, university librarian at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. They have short attention spans and multitask constantly. They see themselves as consumers who “want to learn only what they have to learn” in “a style that is best for them”—and that usually does not mean listening to a professor lecture. They prefer to use Weblogs and video games, and to collaborate with other students.
Critics, such as Naomi Baron, a linguistics professor at American University, say parents and teachers have helped produce those traits in today’s students by pandering to them—encouraging them to spend time with electronic media, for example, and emphasizing their right to express themselves over the skills they need to express themselves well. They need to learn how to think through problems on their own, she says, and that requires time for quiet contemplation.
How—and how much—should colleges change to adapt to this new generation? And how different are Millennials, really, from the students who preceded them?
Free Article -----> http://chronicle.com/free/v52/i07/07a03401.htm
Richard T. Sweeney has been university librarian at the New Jersey Institute of Technology for 10 years. Before that, he directed the library at Polytechnic University, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and directed public libraries in Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio. He speaks frequently about the Millennial generation at conferences for groups such as the American Library Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries. He also consults for libraries on how to accommodate the new generation. He will respond to questions and comments about these issues on Wednesday, October 5, at 2 p.m., U.S. Eastern time. Readers are welcome to post questions and comments now.
A transcript will be available at this address following the discussion.
Evan R. Goldstein
The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Chronicle of Philanthropy