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TEACHING THE 21ST CENTURY COLLEGE STUDENT

M. Streit

Kaplan University (UNITED STATES)
This presentation explores the existing research on changing demographics in the typical college freshmen in the United States today. This new Millenial generation (born anywhere between 1982-2002) are described in more detail in terms of their habits, values, and beliefs, and how they are different from the more traditional college students of the past. For example, recent trends suggest that students today are more likely to be women, immigrants, working outside of the classroom at least part-time, older than 18, attending college part-time, and juggling many more demands than ever before, like raising young children and caring for older aging parents. These increasing pressures and demands on the student's time have led to the development of certain habits and behaviors in how they use technology and interact with others on a regular basis. This presentation will focus on how these changing behaviors have impacted upon the typical college student of today, and how these changes translate into their ability to succeed in the 21st century college classroom. Specifically, the impact of growing up with technology, along with the regular practice of multi-tasking and frequent digital media exposure will be explored. How this immersion in technology has forever changed a students' brain and their ability to learn and process information at a deeper level of understanding will be discussed in greater depth in this presentation. Suggestions for what faculty can do to help students 'unplug', and how the course curriculum can be designed in a manner to counter some of the more deleterious trends will be investigated further.