Virtual School Meanderings

June 28, 2019

News: Young Teachers May Be ‘Digital Natives’ But Need Support in Using Tech, Studies Find

This showed up in my ASCD SmartBrief earlier in the week.

Research: New teachers need more edtech support

Research: New teachers need more edtech support
(Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images)
While novice teachers may have grown up using technology as “digital natives,” two new studies discussed at the International Society for Technology in Education conference find they still may need support in using education technology in the classroom. Karla Karr, an assistant professor at Indiana Wesleyan University, says her research found that teacher training on technology did not always align with the skills new teachers need on the job.
Education Week (tiered subscription model) (6/24)

The actual title of the Education Week article was “Young Teachers May Be ‘Digital Natives’ But Need Support in Using Tech, Studies Find.”  The article actually begins:

Millennial teachers may have grown up with Snapchat and iPads, but that doesn’t mean that they feel prepared to enter the classroom ready to integrate technology into their lessons. And it’s not clear if their student-teaching experience helps them make that happen.

That was the upshot of a pair of studies discussed at the International Society for Technology in Education here.

To continue reading, click here.

Now say what you will about me, but when I read this I thought “duh!”  I’ve been driving a car for the past 25 years.  It doesn’t mean I know much about how to fix it when the “Check Engine Light” comes on.  It doesn’t mean that I could run a pit crew over at the Sonoma Raceway.  It doesn’t even mean that I could run a race at the Sonoma Raceway – even if I have tons of experience turning left.

Just because I have used the tool, it doesn’t mean that I can use it in sophisticated ways.  It doesn’t mean that I can explain how to use it to others.  It doesn’t mean that I can use it in ways that will make others better.

I don’t know why anyone believed or believes or needed to confirm that individuals who use tools in a cursory or superficial ways, would somehow have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be able to use the tools in sophisticated ways to help students learn or to inherently improve their own performance?

April 13, 2019

News From The Mindset List!

Note this update from an annual feature.

Marist Welcomes the Mindset List 

This is an unusual time of year to be hearing from the Mindset List, but we have some good news to share with you.

This past August, Beloit College announced that after 21 years, they would no longer be the home of the Mindset List. When that decision was made public, there was immediate interest from institutions around the country wishing to join the project.

We are pleased to let you know that, this coming August, the list will appear on schedule, as the Marist Mindset List, affiliated with Marist College in New York’s Hudson River Valley.

This is a very exciting development. Marist embodies the best of all worlds: it’s a comprehensive institution with a foundation firmly rooted in the liberal arts. With a campus in Florence, Italy, and an Executive Center in New York City, Marist has a wide portfolio of programs and degrees. Last year, the College announced a partnership to open the Marist Health Quest School of Medicine in 2022.

Marist has an international reputation both for its undergraduate and graduate programs and for its Centers of Excellence, notably the highly respected Marist Poll. The College is top-ranked by U.S. News as a Best Regional University and a Most Innovative School.

With Marist’s School of Liberal Arts as its new home, the Mindset List will not only retain its spirit, it will exist on a larger scale because of the resources Marist can leverage. The College will bring new approaches to the list, both in the surveys and research that go into its creation, and in the promulgation of its unique picture of each new class of first-year students.

Image features Ron Nief, Tom McBride, Charles Westerberg, Martin Shaffer and Tommy Zurhellen

The original team of Ron Nief, Tom McBride, and Charles Westerberg in Wisconsin will continue to be associated with the creation of the List and its public presentations. They will join with a new team from Marist led by Dean of the School of Liberal Arts Dr. Martin Shaffer and Associate Professor of English Tommy Zurhellen, a Beloit alumnus. Julia Fishman, Director of Media Relations, will handle all news and publicity related to the list.

The new website is, and commentaries and observations will continue to appear at We encourage you to watch for news from the Marist Mindset List on social media. Thank you for your continued support and welcome to the Marist Mindset List! Click here to read more.

If you have any questions about the list please contact Julia Fishman (


Tom McBride
Ron Nief
Charles Westerberg
Mindset List Founders

Martin Shaffer
Dean, School of Liberal Arts


Marist Mindset List

August 22, 2018

Class of 2022 Mindset List

The annual feature of things that weren’t around when this latest round of university freshmen were born.



Author contacts:                                           Ron Nief (608-770-2625)      

Tom McBride (608-312-9508)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Charles Westerberg (608-225-8100)        


The New Millennium Belongs to This Year’s Entering College Class of 2022 in The 21st  Annual Mindset List

Human beings have always been living — not just traveling — in space. The United States has always been in Afghanistan. Same-sex marriage has always been legal somewhere and the once revolutionary “You’ve got mail” is almost forgotten.

A lot can change in just 18 years, but these same 18 years also make up the mindset—or “event horizon”—of today’s entering college students. Born in 2000, the first year of the new millennium, these students are members of the College Class of 2022.


Since 1998, the annual Mindset List has circulated internationally as a way of reminding professors everywhere that they aren’t just teaching courses, they’re also teaching students. The list has generated several books, prompted international discussions and lists and scores of speaking appearances around the country.


“All good things must come to a conclusion,” notes the Mindset List’s creator Ron Nief, Public affairs director emeritus at Beloit College. This will be the last year that the Mindset List will be associated with Beloit College, but it will continue in the future at or at a new institutional home. “We have enjoyed our 20 plus years of association with Beloit College, where the List began,” said Ron Nief.


The list was initiated in the early days of the internet and has been a popular component of back-to-school talks, faculty orientations and sermons for two decades. Its uses have ranged from training police and military officers and sales staff at Neiman Marcus, to the late Fidel Castro’s attacks on U.S. policy.


“With contributions from parents and academics around the world, the List has tracked cultural change, stimulated intergenerational conversation, and just made older people feel even older,” noted co-editors Tom McBride, author and Beloit emeritus professor of English, and Charles Westerberg, Beloit College sociologist.


The original authors have moved on to new projects in their retirement but will continue their battle against “hardening of the references” at their website,


“Students come to college with particular assumptions based on the horizons of their lived experience,” McBride notes. “All teachers need to monitor their references, while students need to appreciate that without a sound education they will never get beyond the cave of their own limited personal experiences,”


               The 2018 Mindset list For the Class of 2022


Among the iconic figures never alive in their lifetime are Victor Borge, Charles Schulz, and the original Obi-Wan Kenobi Alec Guinness.

Among their classmates could be Madonna’s son Rocco, Will Smith’s daughter Willow, or David Bowie and Iman’s daughter Alexandria.

  1. They are the first class born in the new millennium, escaping the dreaded label of “Millennial,” though their new designation—iGen, GenZ, etc. — has not yet been agreed upon by them.

  2. Outer space has never been without human habitation.

  3. They have always been able to refer to Wikipedia.

  4. They have grown up afraid that a shooting could happen at their school, too.

  5. People loudly conversing with themselves in public are no longer thought to be talking to imaginary friends.

  6. Calcutta has always been Kolkata.

  7. Afghanistan has always been the frustrating quagmire that keeps on giving.

  8. Investigative specials examining the O.J. Simpson case have been on TV annually since their birth.

  9. Same-sex couples have always found marital bliss in the Netherlands.

  10. When filling out forms, they are not surprised to find more than two gender categories to choose from.

  11. Presidents winning the popular vote and then losing the election are not unusual.

  12. Parents have always been watching Big Brother, and vice versa.

  13. Someone has always skied non-stop down Mount Everest.

  14. They’ve grown up with stories about where their grandparents were on 11/22/63 and where their parents were on 9/11.

  15. Erin Brockovich has always offered a role model.

  16. The words veritas and horizon have always been joined together to form Verizon.

  17. They will never fly TWA, Swissair, or Sabena airlines.

  18. The Tower of Pisa has always had a prop to keep it leaning.

  19. There has never been an Enron.

  20. The Prius has always been on the road in the U.S.

  21. UK retail sales have always been organized in metrics, except for beer, still sold by the imperial pint.

  22. They never used a spit bowl in a dentist’s office.

  23. They have never seen a cross-town World Series.

  24. There has always been a Survivor.

  25. “You’ve got mail” would sound as ancient to them as “number, please” would have sounded to their parents.

  26. Mifepristone or RU-486, commonly called the “abortion pill,” has always been available in the U.S.

  27. A visit to a bank has been a rare event.

  28. Unable to come up with a new tune, Russians have always used the old Soviet national anthem.

  29. They have never had to deal with “chads,” be they dimpled, hanging, or pregnant.

  30. “Bipartisan” is soooo last century.

  31. Horton has always heard a Who on stage in Seussical the musical.

  32. Robert Downey Jr. has always been the sober Iron Man.

  33. Exotic animals have always been providing emotional support to passengers on planes.

  34. Starbucks has always served venti Caffè Lattes in Beijing’s Forbidden City.

  35. Lightbulbs have always been shatterproof.

  36. Xlerators have always been drying hands in 15 seconds with a roar.

  37. I Love You has always been a computer virus.

  38. Thumbprints have always provided log in security—and are harder to lose—than a password.

  39. Robots have always been able to walk on two legs and climb stairs.

  40. None having served there, American Presidents have always visited Vietnam as Commander-in-Chief.

  41. There have always been space tourists willing to pay the price.

  42. Mass market books have always been available exclusively as Ebooks.

  43. Oprah has always been a magazine.

  44. Berets have always been standard attire for U.S. military uniforms.

  45. The folks may have used a Zipcar to get them to the delivery room on time.

  46. Bonefish Grill has always been serving sustainable seafood.

  47. As toddlers, they could be fined for feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square in London.

  48. Google Doodles have never recognized major religious holidays.

  49. Chernobyl has never produced any power in their lifetimes.

  50. Donny and Marie who?

  51. They never tasted Pepsi Twist in the U.S.

  52. Denmark and Sweden have always been just a ten-minute drive apart via the Oresund Bridge.

  53. There have always been more than a billion people in India.

  54. Thanks to the Taliban, the colossal Buddhas of Bamiyan have never stood in Central Afghanistan.

  55. Films have always been distributed on the Internet.

  56. Environmental disasters such as the BP Deepwater Horizon, and the coal sludge spill in Martin City, Ky., have always exceeded the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

  57. The detachable computer mouse is almost extinct.

  58. The Mir space station has always been at the bottom of the South Pacific.

  59. King Friday the 13th and Lady Elaine Fairchild have always dwelled in the Neighborhood, but only in re-runs.

  60. Israeli troops have never occupied Southern Lebanon.


For more, go to

Copyright 2018 Ron Nief                                                                    Mindset List is a registered trademark

Beloit College, 700 College Street, Beloit, WI 53511, United States

August 24, 2017

Beloit College Releases The Mindset List For This Year’s Entering Class Of First-Year College Students, The Class Of 2021

An annual item…

Author contacts:

   Ron Nief


Tom McBride


Charles Westerberg



Beloit College Releases the Mindset List for This Year’s Entering Class of First-Year College Students, The Class of 2021

Beloit, Wis. —This year’s entering college class of 2021 doesn’t remember when a “phone” wasn’t a video game and a research library. Mostly born in 1999, they’ve always been searching for Pokemon. They’ve never read a Peanuts strip that wasn’t a repeat and they never had the privilege of a Montgomery Ward catalogue as a booster seat. They have persevered in a world without Joe Dimaggio and rife with emojis. If you ask them about the whine of a dial-up modem, expect a blank stare.

 These are among the items in this year’s Beloit College Mindset List, the 20th such release since the list was first compiled in 1998. The List’s current subjects are the last class to be born in the 1900s – the last of the Millennials.

 The Beloit College Mindset List is created by Ron Nief, Director Emeritus of Beloit College Public Affairs; Tom McBride, Professor Emeritus of English; and Charles Westerberg, Brannon-Ballard Professor of Sociology.

 “Members of this class have generally borrowed a lot of money to go to college, so expect them to think of themselves as consumers and not just as students,” said Westerberg, former director of Beloit’s Liberal Arts in Practice Center. “And they will also be concerned not just with what they need to learn but also who they are and to what group they genuinely belong.”

Additional items on the list as well as commentaries and guides are found at and Regular updates and discussions are on Facebook and Twitter.

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2021

Students heading into their first year of college this year are mostly 18 and were born in 1999.

Among the iconic figures who have never been alive in their lifetimes are Joe DiMaggio, John F. Kennedy Jr., Walter Payton, and Dusty Springfield.


  1. Their classmates could include Eddie Murphy’s Zola and Mel Gibson’s Tommy, or Jackie Evancho singing down the hall.

  2. They are the last class to be born in the 1900s, the last of the Millennials —  enter next year, on cue, Generation Z!

  3. They are the first generation for whom a “phone” has been primarily a video game, direction finder, electronic telegraph, and research library.

  4. Electronic signatures have always been as legally binding as the pen-on-paper kind.

  5. In college, they will often think of themselves as consumers, who’ve borrowed a lot of money to be there.

  6. eHarmony has always offered an algorithm for happiness.

  7. Peanuts comic strips have always been repeats.

  8. They have largely grown up in a floppy-less world.

  9. They have never found Mutual Broadcasting or Westinghouse Group W on the radio dial, but XM has always offered radio programming for a fee.

  10. There have always been emojis to cheer us up.

  11. The Panama Canal has always belonged to Panama and Macau has been part of China.

  12. It is doubtful that they have ever used or heard the high-pitched whine of a dial-up modem.

  13. They were never able to use a Montgomery Ward catalogue as a booster seat.

  14. Donald Trump has always been a political figure, as a Democrat, an Independent, and a Republican.

  15. Zappos has always meant shoes on the Internet.

  16. They are the first generation to grow up with Watson outperforming Sherlock.

  17. Amazon has always invited consumers to follow the arrow from A to Z.

  18. Their folks have always been able to get reward points by paying their taxes to the IRS on plastic.

  19. In their lifetimes, Blackberry has gone from being a wild fruit to being a communications device to becoming a wild fruit again.

  20. They have always been searching for Pokemon.

  21. They may choose to submit a listicle in lieu of an admissions essay.

  22. Dora the Explorer and her pet monkey Boots helped to set them on the course of discovery.

  23. The seat of Germany’s government has always been back in Berlin.

  24. Jet Blue has always been a favorite travel option but the Concorde has been permanently grounded.

  25. By the time they entered school, laptops were outselling desktops.

  26. There has never been a Coliseum in New York, but there has always been a London Eye on the Thames.

  27. Once on campus, they will find that college syllabi, replete with policies about disability, non-discrimination, and learning goals, might be longer than some of their reading assignments.

  28. As toddlers they may have dined on some of that canned food hoarded in case of Y2K.

  29. An ophthalmologist named Bashar al-Assad has always provided vision for the Syrian military.

  30. Whatever the subject, there’s always been a blog for it.

  31. U.S. Supreme Court decisions have always been available at its website.

  32. Globalization has always been both a powerful fact of life and a source of incessant protest.

  33. One out of four major league baseball players has always been born outside the United States.

  34. Carl Sagan has always had his own crater on Mars.

  35. A movie scene longer than two minutes has always seemed like an eternity.

…AND THERE ARE 25 MORE…see the complete list and additional information and guides at and at


Copyright© 2017 Beloit College

Mindset List is a registered trademark

Disclaimer: This email was sent to
Beloit College, 700 College St., Beloit, WI, 53511, United States

August 4, 2017

20th Beloit College Mindset List Coming Soon

Also from Tuesday’s inbox…

Dear Friends of the Mindset List:

This year marks the 20th year for the Beloit College Mindset List and this year it profiles the last of the Millennial classes.

Special thanks to all of you and particularly the educators who are regularly in touch as they prepare for the new academic year. We have met many of you as we speak around the country and very much appreciate your support over two decades.

The BELOIT COLLEGE MINDSET LIST for this fall’s entering college class of 2021, most of them born in 1999, will be released on Tuesday, August 22 and will be emailed to you.

The list will direct you to our websites where, among other things, you will find THE MILLENNIAL PROMISE, in which Tom McBride, Charles Westerberg and Ron Nief–the Mindset List guys–distill years of study in a brief and useful guide. It includes 40 tips for educators charged with teaching the rising new generation of college students.

For information about the Mindset List and for previous lists, please go to Also, you may wish to join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for your interest and support.

Ron Nief, Tom McBride, and Charles Westerberg                                                                                          Beloit College


Beloit College, 700 College St., Beloit, WI, 53511, United States

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