The Classroom Is Changing: Millennials are ruining everything. Or are they?

There has been much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and think-piecing about the Millennial generation. It won’t be long before David Brooks starts in on the post-Millennials, postulating about the damage hover boards are causing to their ability to walk. During a recent Whetstone La Croix-ppy Hour, Whetstone’s CTO, Cody Brumfield, offered an antidote to all of this anti-Millennial hand-wringing in the form of a theory: Millennials are an inherently pleasant generation because they’ve never had a dinnertime argument over “the name of that actor in that movie.” Any time a question comes up in a social gathering, it’s solved within minutes by somebody’s phone. Thus, no bar arguments about Tom Cruise’s height or the length of his marriage to Nicole Kidman. Furthermore, all Millennials are sweet, kind-hearted people.

While, as a Millennial, I appreciate Cody’s generous theory, I’m not here to defend it. Rather, it got me thinking about how smart phones and search engines change the way Millennial and post-Millennial students expect to find information, how gaming apps change the way they expect to learn, and how Millennials entering the teaching force expect to be developed by their instructional leaders in order to leverage these high expectations and feel fulfilled professionally.

For the next three weeks, my posts will explore each of these trends individually. I’ve named them:

  • The Google Effect
  • The Angry Birds Effect
  • The “Find a job that makes you happy” Effect

Per usual, I’ll offer and seek ideas on how teacher coaching can help teachers of all generations adjust to and leverage these shifts faster.