Generational Differences: How Students Studied Without Smartphones and Computer Technology

Education without the Internet and modern technologies can be interpreted as a more problematic task. While now students can browse academic assistance sites, download books online, and have online classes, all of it was impossible for our parents and other generations. Modern students can easily use mobile devices, engage in online collaboration tools, and access information digitally. If you haven’t yet asked your parents how education took place in their youths, you can discover it in the following article.

Library as a Concept

While browsing the Web, you’re now likely to see dozens of online databases, university libraries, and collections of journal articles. The situation was different when it comes to older generations and physical visits to libraries. Speaking of the sources of information, one should remember that any library was different, even conceptually. Our parents had to go there physically, review available index cards, and manually order supplementary materials.

This difference required a different approach to preparing for any particular lesson. That’s why generational distinctions, even concerning education and access to information, are so heavily discussed right now. To get more insights on this matter, one can check essays on the millennial generation You are welcome to analyze free essay samples about millennial generation and make your reflections on the matter. After all, we are very different from the older generation.

Meeting in Person

When it comes to the primary change that is rarely seen among modern students, meeting in person stands out the most. It might be hard to believe, but students of previous generations had to arrange particular meetings. They prepared projects and all required group assignments, which are now preferably set by online video calls. It took more time for an ordinary student to get ready for a group presentation compared to modern days. Such a distinction makes current college and university students more flexible regarding any assignments that involve work in groups.

Literature Consultations and Office Hours

If you’re still a student, you might recognize that most of your professors offer office hours. It is common for an average schooler not to attend it even on a single occasion, meaning that face-to-face interactions are becoming rarer. When it comes to previous generations, education relied upon consulting with professors to clarify syllabus or curriculum questions.

Another feature that modern students are likely to miss is the literature discussion with professors. It was common for our parents to ask for a piece of advice regarding a specific book or article. You could clarify what literature might be useful for getting additional knowledge on any topic in any school. Solely because of the face-to-face format of discussing literature, obtaining knowledge was so different among older generations.

Using Smartphones While Learning

One of the most distinctive features of modern students is the active use of mobile devices. While some schoolers access books and literature this way, others also use online dictionaries and thesaurus. Even though the pros and cons of smartphones in the classroom are even, students are likely to make the most of these devices. Smartphones’ disadvantages are also noticeable since they often disperse students’ attention, making it troublesome to maintain a proper focus. When you ask any teacher about smartphone use, the answers you’d get might be mixed. Regardless of the potential drawbacks, modern collaboration tools and online student applications are beneficial for one’s education. That’s why modern schoolers now have more options and formats of studies compared to previous generations.


Individuals are prone to engaging in discussions of what generation studied better and what information sources could be more productive. Comparing older generations with a modern one, contemporary students have a firm reliance on online tools. All previously unimaginable concepts, including online dictionaries, digital libraries, and online classes, are becoming a reality. As for the previous generation, they had to engage in education in a more old-school way, such as meeting in person or attending on-site libraries. Regardless of what approach is more suitable for you, all these changes have changed modern educational concepts once and forever.