Students today – dare I compare?

Posted by jerry on October 16th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, New media, Writing

New media analyst Alja Sulcic pointed to a video on her Facebook produced by a group of cultural anthropology students, surveying their own tribal group. And the results are fascinating – and look set to challenge many of the pedagogical assumptions we have. The biggest challenge is whether today’s university is relevant – and what place might they hold in the future?

Students today – when they graduate they will probably have a job… that doesn’t exist today.

Average class size = 115
18 percent of teachers know a student’s name

Read 8 books a year, 2300 web pages, 1289 Facebook profiles

Write 42 pages for class per semester, over 500 pages of emails

Hours in the day
7.0 sleeping
1.5 watching TV
3.5 online
2.5 listening to music
2.0 on mobile phone
3.0 in class
2.0 eating
2.0 working
3.0 studying
TOTAL = 26.5 hours

They multi-task. They have to.

Many students are so engaged by their classes that they Facebook right through them or do other stuff on their laptop or text their friends. Many don’t read their $100 textbooks.

Much of what they get at university is irrelevant to them or out of date before the textbook is published – at least that is their perception.

So in my middle aged mid-career life, how do I compare?
I sleep 7.0 hours a night
I have a job that didn’t exist three years ago.
I recently sold some writing to an online journal that is in a virtual world that didn’t exist three years ago (okay the world did, but only just – the journal is less than one year old)
I work 8-9 hours a day – I don’t do personal stuff at work
I watch less than 1.0 hour of TV per day
I spend about 2-3 hours a day online
I play fiddle about 1.0 hour a day
I do email/check online news and weather over breakfast
I listen to 20 minutes of music per day – driving to/from work
I multi-task – often playing tunes while waiting for pages to load

So I guess the age group is irrelevant – the fact is that life today is very different from what it was even just ten years ago when I started writing my book about the internet. I wrote my first email in June 1989. I guess that makes me a relatively early adopter. I first surfed the internet using Mosaic and Gopher. I built my first website in 1996 – entirely hand-coded.

Here is the video that started this post

How do you compare?


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