Saying Goodbye to 1990s Students and Welcoming New Century Students into the College Classroom: Observations from the Scene of Learning
Patrice Flynn, MSW, MA, PhD

As college professors say goodbye to students born in the 1990s and welcome “new century” students born in the 2000s, measurable and profound change is evident in the classroom. This essay documents key behavioral differences between these two groups of students and considers how the needs of new century students have escalated in ways not seen before, causing even skilful professors to pause. Notable are signs of increased nomophobia (fear of being disconnected from mobile devices), information fatigue, human-humanoid singularity, and the inefficacy of antiquated high-impact pedagogies. Early evidence foreshadows more far-reaching transitions in the learning realm for new century students as they matriculate into colleges over the next decade. Perhaps the solution for students, professors, and administrators is to turn over behavioral management of students to big tech, leaving the faculty more time for course content.

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