Cracking the Neomillenial Learning Code: Teaching in the 21st Century


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Presented at the 2013 AAUP Annual Conference on the State of Higher Education.

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  • The theories represented here exemplify the learner being at the center of the educational realm. The educator encourages participation among students through engaging discourse, autonomous thinking, and discovery through various classroom methods which allow for natural creative inquiry to occur (King, 2005; Mezirow, 1997). Ultimately, cognition occurs when students can seek out, sieve through, and synthesize data from a variety of sources while multitasking among contrasting informational sources, yet still maintain focus (Dede, 2005; King, 2005). Through continual reflection and sharing of experiences, students learn the course material (de Corte, 1996; Dede, 2004, 2005). Optimum cognitive development is dependent upon interaction of the learner with other learners and the educator (Dede, 2005; Garrison & Anderson, 2003; Vygotsky, 1978).
  • Social networking sites are conducive for research surrounding student outcomes in relation to using social networking sites in learning because social networking sites embody active engagement, conversation, and interaction (Baker, 2009; Boyd & Ellison, 2009).
  • Cracking the Neomillenial Learning Code: Teaching in the 21st Century

    1. 1. 2013 ANNUALCONFERENCE ON THESTATE OF HIGHEREDUCATIONGina Luttrell, PhD the Neomillennial LearningCode: Teaching in the Twenty-firstCenturyJune 14, 2013
    2. 2. Agenda Introduction Session Overview An Introduction to YOUR students Myths about Neomillennials What’s the Truth? Education at a Crossroads Pedagogical Shifts Intersection of Learning Theories LIGO Method Drawbacks & Criticisms A Peek inside my Classroom Final Thought Thank You & Questions!
    3. 3. Who is Gina? Gina Luttrell, Ph.D.,, @ginaluttrell Professor of Public Relations and Social Media atEastern Michigan University 15 years as a PR practitioner Began teaching in 2007 Research, publish and present in the areas of: Public Relations Social Media and Neomillennial/Millennial learning habits Forthcoming text book on Social Media (2014)
    4. 4. Session Overview Students are different. Our teaching needs to reflect newer learning styles. Neomillennial students (born 1981+) require atransformative learning approach that goes beyondcontent knowledge acquisition. This presentationexplores what can be done in collegiate settings tobetter assess and educate the neomillennial students byexamining pedagogical shifts in higher education.
    5. 5. Let me introduce to you to yourstudents: Maddie Robinson, Entrepreneur High-school student today Inventor at age 8 by the age of 15 she wasa Business owner & millionaire. Jack Andraka, Scientist, Mathematician 16 years old, Faculty at Singularity University, 12 Intel ISEFwinner, TED 2013 speaker Intel International Science & Engineering Fair for developing anearly 100 percent accurate paper sensor that detects pancreaticcancer better than anything else out there--it’s over 400 times moresensitive, 168 times faster, and 26,000 times less expensive thantoday’s methods. Leading a team of 3 “kids” to develop the first handheld mobileplatform that can diagnose 15 diseases across 30 patients.
    6. 6. Let me introduce to you to yourstudents: Nick D’Aloisio, App Developer 17 years old He was 12 years old when hebegan developing apps Developed “Summly” Mobile news app powered by a text-summarizing algorithm Sold an App to Yahoo for $30 Million Emma, One Smart Cookie 3rd Grader “Bring Back the Garden”
    7. 7. What are you going to do withthese students?Millennials, Neomillennials
    8. 8. Myths about Neomillennials Lazy, selfish Unmotivated Disrespectful No work ethic, want to change everything Over-inflated sense of their abilities Lack emotional intelligence Don’t take criticism well Research on Neomillennials: dispels rumors interactive graphic sociology
    9. 9. What’s the Truth? There is evidence that Neomillennials are thesmartest generation ever. (Howe & Strauss, 2000; Tapscott, 2009) Between 1997 and 2005 the number of studentstaking AP exams more than doubled and raw IQscores climbed by three points since World War II(Tapscott, 2009). Neomillennial learners believe: being smart is a good trait to possess, and these learners see themselves as part of the successof the future (Tapscott, 1999, 2009).
    10. 10. Education at a Crossroad Existing educational theories emphasize thatlearning & development occur through specificactivities. Learning is: an individual process which occurs alone, With a definitive beginning and end; learning is best separated from other activities,and that learning is the product of education.Wenger, E. (1998), Communities of practice: Learning. meaning, and identity,New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
    11. 11. Education at a Crossroad Teachers are the link between pedagogicalprocedures and the students’ learning. In this new learning environment students areencouraged to be creative & critical thinkers (Shulman,2004; Mezirow, 1997). Learning methodologies utilized byNeomillennials points to a more self-directedlearning style, whereby the teacher encouragesand nurtures independent learning (Baird & Fischer, 2005).
    12. 12. Pedagogical Shifts Instruction is most efficient when students engage in activitieswithin an environment and when they receive appropriateguidance (Baird & Fischer, 2005; Dede, 2005; Weisgerber &Butler, 2005; Vygotsky, 1978). Four pedagogical shifts that educators should implement andlearn when attempting to effectively teach neomillenniallearners:1. Co-Design: Developing learning experiences students can personalize2. Co-Instruction: Utilizing knowledge sharing among students as a majorsource of content and pedagogy3. Guided Social Constructivist and Situated Learning Pedagogies: Infusingcase-based participatory simulations into presentational/assimilativeinstruction4. Assessment Beyond Tests and Papers: Evaluating collaborative, non-linear, associational webs of representations; utilizing peer-developedand peer-rated forms of assessment; student assessments provideformative feedback on faculty effectiveness. (Dede, 2005) [italics inoriginal]
    13. 13. Intersection of LearningTheories With numerous theories on learning (Asch 1968; Brown, Collins, &Duguid, 1989; Dewey, 1916, Gagne, 1985; Mezirow, 1997; Piaget,1977), none of which are used exclusively, educators can use acombination of theories. Constructivist, behaviorist, and cognitive learning theories buildupon the next and intersect, continually keeping the learner at thecenter. In online learning, knowledge is acquired through variousapproaches including peer assessment, group projects, socialinteraction, mentor/mentee support, email correspondence, onlineforums and discussion, self-assessment activities, and detaileddirections of learning materials. ConstructivistBehavioristCognitiveLearner
    14. 14. Intersection of LearningTheories Instruction is most efficient when students canengage in activities within a supportivelearning environment and when studentsreceive appropriate guidance that issupplemented with the right course materials(Anderson, 2004; Claxton & Murrell, 1987;Torres, 1993). For example: synchronous or asynchronous chat discussion forums email, podcasting, blogging, and microblogging
    15. 15. LIGO Method Nicol, Minty & Sinclair developed the LIGOmethod to assess how learners interact andcommunicate with other learners LIGO: The Learning: The Individual, The Group &the Organization The LIGO method was structured around five learningmilestones tasks that were related to the main contentareas: curriculum design, models of learning and of supporting learning, student assessment, the learning organization, evaluation.Nicol, D. J., Minty, I., & Sinclair, C. (2003). The social dimensions of onlinelearning. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 40(3), pp. 270–280.
    16. 16. LIGO Method The LIGO method assumes that learnersconstruct knowledge through activeengagement with course materials, includingthe text, and through interaction and dialoguewith others, supported by the aforementionedlearning theories. Behaviorist, cognitive, and constructivismtheories combined with the LIGO methodcould assess the methods of learning viaonline tools.
    17. 17. Drawbacks & Criticisms Too much multi-tasking, diverts attention & retention ofcourse material Assumption that students know how to use newertechnologies – social media The shift from traditional education principles iscausing controversy for many faculty members atcolleges and universities across the globe Some argue that a degree of unlearning needs to occurregarding unconscious beliefs, assumptions, and valuesabout the nature of teaching and learning (Dede, 2005). Faculty & administrators will likely dismiss and resistimplementing technologies which incorporate synchronousor asynchronous chat, discussion forums, email,podcasting, blogging, and microblogging (Dede, 2005; Smith, 2010).
    18. 18. A Peek Inside my Classroom I flip my classroom as much as I can. At any given moment my students are: Texting On Twitter Using FB Shooting video,recording podcasts, taking photos Blogging Developing websites & Prezi presentations Skype
    19. 19. Final Thought Neomillennial students have been raised in atechno-driven, continuously connectedenvironment of interactive media, the Internet,and innumerable digital technologies. To believe that today’s students has differentexpectations and learning styles is notunrealistic(Baird & Fischer, 2005; Dahlstrom et al., 2011; de Corte, 1996; Dede, 2004; Dede, 2005; Dieterle et al., 2007; Smith, 2010). Will you rise to the challenge?
    20. 20. Questions?Gina Luttrell, You!!!