Always connected. Already educated.

It’s one of those days when multiple conversations are occurring across various media, and I am waiting for the big A-ha moment to explode in front of me. Time magazine just posted an article about the oversold notion of college. Additionally, the Pew Research Center hosted a conference today on Millenials, positing:

Millennials are on course to become the most educated generation in American history, a trend driven largely by the demands of a modern knowledge-based economy, but most likely accelerated in recent years by the millions of 20-somethings enrolling in graduate schools, colleges or community colleges in part because they can’t find a job (2010, Pew Research Center, p. 2).

So, here stands this juxtaposition of needing a college career to become part of the well paid echelon and having to return for more schooling because there are no jobs. Meanwhile, I am watching current and former students dialogue on Twitter about networking through social media and in person, as to avoid unemployment. These are also students and graduates that understand that initiative taking and hand-shaking-networking are just as essential.

What I am certain of is that the Millenial generation is much more than a group of twenty-somethings that expect immediate response to all requests, and if they don’t get it, will have their mom call (although that group is well represented in this Generation Next). What I see are innovative and creative people that think so far outside the parameters that we, Gen Xers, have previously held that they are creating their own jobs, developing their own mastery of communication, and defining community with their own labels (or lack thereof).

On a regular basis, I am fascinated, perplexed, and quite damn near blown away by this rising generation. But amidst my awe, I am trying to help redefine how education, specifically higher education, should challenge them. What does learning mean for the already educated?

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