In a high school English class the day’s topic was how to use commas, and the teacher was trying his best to hold his students’ attention. One student, Jessie, responded this way: she slipped her hand into her bag and discretely pulled out a catalog for a clothing store. In a sense, it was as though she had left one store in a mall for another. Students these days bring something like a consumer mentality to school; if they don’t find class intriguing or exciting, they tune out.
Today’s students are a tough audience. Increasingly, they seem to require added help getting engaged in learning, in part because they have become constant consumers of entertainment and sensation, always searching for new thrills.»