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A Decade of Reality Checks for Instructors: The Mindset List & Mediasite

August 21, 2018

For the past 20 years, the authors of the infamous Mindset List have given us some good laughs.

Did you know that to the class of 2020 The Green Giant has always been Shrek, not the big guy picking vegetables? Well, now you do. And Robert De Niro will always be thought of as Greg Focker’s long-suffering father-in-law, not Vito Corleone or Jimmy Conway.

To the class of 2022 (this fall’s incoming freshmen), thumbprints have always provided login security  ̶  and are harder to lose  ̶  than a password. Yes, I suppose that’s accurate.

The annual Mindset List makes headlines around the world for its amusing way of reminding instructors everywhere that their students’ outlooks on life are constantly changing, and therefore their teaching habits need to change, too.

For example, the 2014 list (about the class of 2018) stated that being techno-savvy has always been inversely proportional to age. And last year’s list (about the class of 2021) reminded instructors that students have never really needed to go to their friend’s house so they could study together, and that students’ screens keep getting smaller as their parents’ grow even larger.

We’ve had the pleasure of partnering with the authors of the list for the past decade to help them share their news with the world through the power of streaming video. Ron Nief and Tom McBride, and more recently Charles Westerberg, have recorded their annual video announcements from our studio in Madison, Wis. using Mediasite. Just like they remind instructors every year, the authors are embracing technology as a way to reach more audiences in an engaging way – the way students expect to learn.

“If the annual release of the Mindset List tells us anything, the message is rapid change, and nowhere more so than in communication. When the list was initiated two decades ago, we were scouring piles of magazines and newspapers and sending the lists out to hundreds from an email list on one computer,” said Ron Nief, Mindset List creator. “Today through our partnership with Mediasite, the Mindset List goes to thousands around the world, drawing an international response and allowing us to learn that our change is shared by a global audience.”

Among this year’s roundup (which published today) about students born in the first year of the new millennium:

  • They’ve grown up with stories about where their grandparents were on 11/22/63 and where their parents were on 9/11.
  • King Friday the 13th and Lady Elaine Fairchild have always dwelled in the Neighborhood, but only in re-runs.
  • “You’ve got mail” sounds as ancient to them as “number, please” sounds to their parents.

Watch the authors discuss this year’s list in the video above, and read their press release here.


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