Friday, March 07, 2008

The Beloit College Mindset List -- Technology changes the experience of young people

We cover the implications of technology for individuals. For ten years, Beloit College has published its Mindset List of characteristics of the incoming freshman class. The list for each year has about 70 items, and some of them are relevant to our course. For example, the lists for the classes of 2010 and 2011 include these statements about incoming freshmen:

  • They are wireless, yet always connected.
  • “Google" has always been a verb.
  • Bar codes have always been on everything, from library cards and snail mail to retail items.
  • They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.
  • Being techno-savvy has always been inversely proportional to age.
  • Music has always been “unplugged.”
  • Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time.
  • Virtual reality has always been available when the real thing failed.
  • The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born.
  • They’re always texting 1 n other.
(Click here for more student characteristics).

Do these and other items on the list accurately describe you? In what ways should our class change to reflect these changes?