On Aug. 18, Beloit College in Wisconsin released its popular Mindset List for the Class of 2013 for incoming college freshmen who will likely graduate four years from now. The list, which has been published since 1998, identifies life experiences that have helped shape the attitudes and expectations of high-school graduates now arriving at colleges across the country.
Some of the list’s observations about technology and its use by incoming freshmen include:
- Text has always been hyper.
- Cable television systems have always offered telephone service and vice versa.
- They have always been able to read books on an electronic screen.
- There have always been flat-screen televisions.
- Everyone has always known what the evening news was before the Evening News came on.
- Migration of once independent media like radio, TV, videos, and compact discs to the computer has never amazed them.
Technology changes rapidly, and thus it continues to be an essential focus of the list. According to the preface for this year’s list, “If the entering college class of 2013 had been more alert back in 1991 when most of them were born, they would now be experiencing a severe case of déjà vu. The headlines that year railed about government interventions, bailouts, bad loans, unemployment and greater regulation of the finance industry. … Now however, they can turn to technology and text a friend: “Momdad still worried bout stocks. urs 2? PAW PCM”. (Editor’s note: “Parents Are Watching, Please Call Me”.)
For the complete Mindset List for the Class of 2013, as well as those from previous years, see www.beloit.edu/mindset.