Okay, actually the New Millennials are here. Who are they? Kids born between the years of 1980 and 2000. You know, the Digital Natives. They now comprise nearly 1/3 of the population in the United States, and from the looks of it, they aren’t going away anytime soon.These New Millennials are responsible for our need to build newer schools, increase technology availability in the classroom, and throw away nearly everything we ever learned about spelling.
There is an excellent article in The Journal of the New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) that discusses these kids. It is titled, “There is a New Kid in Town: Meet the Millennials” and begins on page 8.
The article is helpful for two reasons. First, there is a great table of information that gives us the characteristics of the New Millennials, what this means for their learning path, and what can be done in the classroom to accommodate these new learning styles. For instance, one of the reasons (IMHO) kids have such a hard time with writing the standard 5-paragraph essay is that it is a logical, step-by-step, linear approach to putting thoughts on paper. These kids don’t think, study, or speak linearly any longer. The web has enabled them to process information through multi-tasking and primarily in a randomly chosen path from point A to point B (think how many links you click on from one single page that takes in all kinds of different directions).
The second reason it is helpful, is that at the close of the article the Discovery Educator Network is listed is one of three online resources listed for teachers to gain professional development related to dealing with the New Millennials. Way to go DEN!