Gen Y: They Will Change the World

Posted on May 20, 2008


I read a great article this week from Read Write Web by Sarah Perez, who claims “Gen Y is taking over.”  She states:

             As the Boomers fade into retirement and Gen Y takes root in the workplace, we’re

             going to see some big changes ahead, not just at work, but on the web as a whole.

Though the article focuses on changes occurring in the workplace, her ideas transfer to the educational landscape.  Gen Y, “current 13 to 31 year-olds,” think differently, work differently, and have the power to create products that blow away Generation Xers like myself.

This week, I’m witnessing Gen Y’s productivity in action, and I am humbled by what they can do when turned loose.

I’ve pushed my AP English students (Gen Yers) this year–pushed them to read widely, think deeply, write artfully. I’ve pushed them to create products that require both creativity and critical thinking. I’ve pushed them hard. 

They–I’m thrilled to say–have risen to the challenge.  I’ve been grading their ePortfolios, getting teary-eyed–RLY! They’ve far exceeded my wildest imagination. Amy’s portfolio, her heartfelt reflections on her learning throughout the year, blew me away.  Dan’s enthusiasm for learning, his honest admisssions of his strengths and weaknesses and his setting goals for future improvement, awed me. Clare’s metaphor–designing her portfolio as a medical case study–thrilled me. Jay’s incredible use of multimedia elements humbles me as does her integration of her passion–photography.  There are many others–too many to name.  These kids are incredible.

To show my appreciation for all their hard work, I’ll be giving them a small treat (pictured at left), the least I can do.

They’ve taught me as much, I think, as I have them. I’ll miss them.