iGen: Teaching the Smartphone Generation

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Brief Abstract

Traditional-age college students are now iGen (born after 1995), the first generation to spend their adolescence with smartphones. iGen’ers spend more time online and less time with each other in person, are growing up more slowly as adolescents, and are more extrinsically and less intrinsically motivated. These differences necessitate new strategies for reaching them as learners, and an awareness of how generational differences affect non-traditional age online learners in both positive and negative ways.

With this new group of young people growing into adulthood, we all need to understand them: Friends and family need to look out for them; businesses must figure out how to recruit them and sell to them; colleges and universities must know how to educate, guide them, and identify how these strategies can apply to all types of learners.

As we learn to understand this new generation, perhaps we can all learn more about ourselves. Because where iGen goes, so goes our nation—and the world.

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Extended Abstract