Updates from February, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

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    Anne 2:53 pm on February 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: building context, , millennials   

    Gen Xers and Millennials as Parents: Food for Thought 

    I recently read an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that discussed the issue of helicopter parents. To those of us in higher education, the concept is not new. Even though I’m not a member of the teaching faculty, I am constantly aware of the connection that our Millennial students have to their parents. I often hear them chatting with Mom or Dad about the coming day’s schedule, while they wait at the bus stop at a time that is earlier that I would want to be talking to my adult child unless there was an emergency. When referencing weekend activities, they often talk about their parents – coming to get them, or visit them, or do their laundry for them. And while laundry isn’t that unusual of an activity for the parent of a college student, neither is help with homework or research, something of a new trend. I have gotten several research help queries from parents of students who have assignments and need help finding resources. Are the students lazy? No, probably not. But their parents are doing what helicopter parents do, and hovering around, helping their children to be the best students they can be, seemingly doing some of the legwork for them. I, of course, wonder what this does to the student. How are we to foster their independence, while acknowledging that reliance on a community or family of support is also a positive value?

    This connection between our students and their parents, the article points out, is not going to go away any time soon. If anything, the force will become stronger. It’s a phenomenon that I’m wrestling with myself, as I now represent the Gen Xers/Millennials as a parent myself. My daughter will likely enter college in 2019. Closeness of family is a great value that I rejoice to see growing in our society. Lack of independence in our youngsters is a bit disconcerting. As someone who was born on the line between the two generations, I recognize that I possess the some of the characteristics of each.

    While not much was news to me in this article about how our generations behave, the tactics the article recommends to colleges and universities were very interesting to me. Can you imagine what things would be like at Penn State if we had a parental advisory board, especially now?? Universities have traditionally respected their students’ status as legal adults and kept grades and financial obligations a secret from parents (this is legal, but also ethical). What will become of this practice? And as someone who admittedly has issues with current authority figures, I find it a personal and generational challenge to figure out what to do with those sentiments that is productive rather than destructive. What will we teach our children about standing up for themselves – and will we remember to teach them that sometimes we must accept what is and work within a system?

    For those of you in the Lector Book Club, who are making a semester’s work of studying the Millennial Generation, I know it may be difficult to imagine yourselves as parents, but what do you make of these issues? Do you agree with the author’s assessment? How often do you talk to your parents – and do they help you with your homework? I’m not passing judgement, but rather recognizing and struggling a bit with what is, so I hope you’ll indulge me. What do you hope that we carry forward to the generation that comes after us? What will our Outliers look like?


  • Avatar of Anne

    Anne 10:32 am on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    Library Resource Spotlight: PressDisplay 

    You wake up in the morning. Rub your eyes, stretch up and out of bed. You stumble to the kitchen for your cup of coffee and then make your way to the computer – or maybe your iPhone that’s sitting on your kitchen table – where you sit down to find out what’s going on in the world today. You browse Facebook; some friends have posted links to stories about the latest crackdown on drinking in State College and that leads you to the Centre Daily Times. You take a look at your favorite news outlet’s web page; the lead story is about the latest primary election results and a link from that story leads you to Reuters. Glance at pinterest and note that your coffee cup could really use its own cozy; repin the idea for later and share it with your friends on Facebook. Take another swig of coffee and repeat the process.

    Sound familiar? This is a freestyle information loop that I’d wager most of us find ourselves in more than once a day. Do you fall into the same cycle when you’re doing research on something?

    What if you could go to one place to see all of the day’s top news at once? Better yet, news from the world’s top papers, in visual form?

    Enter PressDisplay. Linked from the library’s database list, PressDisplay offers immediate, visual browsing of today’s headlines from around the world. Look at newspapers by country of origin, or view news by news category. Want to know more about a particular topic? Use the search to bring up more related articles…use the power of the database to limit your results by geography, date of publication, and more.

  • Avatar of Anne

    Anne 3:12 pm on February 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: app spotlight, ,   

    Spotlight on Apps: Library offers Mobile Apps Guide 

    Sure, iPads are fun, but they can help you to be a more productive person too! There are apps that can help you to:

    • Organize your class notes
    • Mark up pdfs
    • Find scholarly articles for research

    …and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The Penn State University Libraries and the iPad User Group are pleased to unveil a new guide to help you discover the tools to help you to be more productive as a student and researcher. We hope that these apps will be useful to you in your work, and welcome suggestions for new ones to include. Happy browsing!


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