I hadn't heard this term before, "Generation Always-On," but it makes sense. I am on the end of the generation that still grew up going to the library to do research (read: encyclopedias, not the internet), but by the time I was graduating high school, many of my friends had cell phones, and my family had switched to high-speed DSL. So I come from the perspective that things are definitely different now for my students than it was for me. It's hard to compare my high school experience as a student with the students I teach, but I do think that now there are more students who have shorter attention spans and want to be spoon-fed the answers. So many of them have Google in their pockets, that often times if I ask a question and they don't know the answer, they'll just look it up on Google even though they aren't supposed to have their phones out.
I truly think that they sometimes don't even realize that I want them to try to think about it, and that the thinking process is valuable. I think that they think I just want them to give me the right answer. Many times I have asked a student to put their phone away, and they will say something like, "I was just looking to see what time it was," even though there is a clock in the room. Or in the locker room, it is a constant battle to get the girls to put their phones away. It seems like a majority of them are on their phones out of habit, more than anything else. When they get back to the locker room after class, they more often than not will instantly check their phone. It is exceedingly frustrating from a management standpoint, but also sad that they are so disconnected from what is happening around them, and more concerned about what they may have missed in the past 30 minutes online.