Webinar: Thinking and Teaching Digitally: Connecting to the Millennial Learner


Published on

Today’s students are digital natives with digital expectations. They are coming of age in a Web 2.0 world where Facebook, Twitter and text messaging are the preferred channels for sharing and communicating ideas, but how do we as educators leverage these same social and mobile technologies to increase student engagement and ultimately improve learning outcomes?

Professor Renee Robinson discusses how Saint Xavier University is doing just that!

This presentation covers how both faculty and the institution can leverage Social Media to better:
• Connect with and Engage Millennial Learners
• Identify and Understand Millennial Characteristics and Behaviors
• Re-imagine Pedagogies that Assist Millennial Learning

Published in: Education
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Welcome to our webinar: Thinking and Teaching Digitally: Connecting to the Millennial Learner. My name is Renee Robinson, I’m an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Thank you for attending our session today. During our presentation, you will be provided with some interesting information about millennial learners and how we as educators can assist them in their learning process and development as critical thinkers. You will also have a chance to participate in the session via our polling system. I also encourage you to document any questions you may have as we proceed so that I can address them towards the end of our time together. We should have about 15 minutes or so to discuss areas that you are interested in. That said, let’s begin.
  • Our presentation consists of three objectives. Identify Millennial Characteristics – What is a millennial learner? What are their profiles? How were they socialized and assimilated into who they are? 2. Understand Millennial Behaviors: How do Millennials behave both in and out of class? What activities do they engage in? How do they spend their time? 3. Re-imagine pedagogies that assist millennial learning: what instructional practices can we implement to assist millennial learners in mastering course content, making connections between courses and experiences, and developing into educated and contributing citizens?
  • The literature on Millennials refers to them by several names: Internet Generation, Echo Boomers, the Boomlet, Nexters, Generation Y, the Nintendo Generation, the Digital Generation, and in Canada, the Sunshine Generation. Regardless of what they are labeled, the characteristics are the same.
  • Millennial identifiers consists of date of birth, generational population, race/socio-economic variables, among others. We address some of these factors now.
  • Special – have been made to feel as though they are important and unique Sheltered – helicopter parents; most protected generation in history. Confident – (perhaps overly - thinking they can do things easily and often last minute) Team Oriented – soccer, baseball/softball
  • Community – desire connectedness, belonging, and contributing to their community; they are service oriented Service – volunteer-oriented Making a difference – Communication – transparency via webpages, email, texting, facebook, or twitter Technology – laptops, smart phones, ipods, digital cameras, mobile devices
  • Communication is a necessity and prerequisite. Millennials expect relevant, readily available information. Consequently, they are constantly communicating via a host of social media forums and tools like cell phones and laptops. These tools are used to access social networking sites such as…
  • College attending Millennials and institutions of higher education haven’t quite determined how to co-exist. For example, most postsecondary institutions currently consist of fixed schedules (e.g., MWF/TR), lecture formats, and textbooks coupled with specific course content that often lacks an interdisciplinary perspective. Knowing what you know about the millennial, it’s easy to see why they are at times disengaged in courses and seem confused by the college experience. The fragmented learning that exists in most colleges and universities is quite foreign to the millennial student – a person who experiences life in an integrated fashion. For example, the following scenario is very likely: A millennial learner is texting a friend The conversation turns to a conversation about … Leading to a google search on the topic Sparking a search for nearby organizations related to the topic. Creating interest in joining a social networking site that discusses the topic. This is a very different approach to learning than what usually exists in the normal college classroom. It is far more integrated, learner engaged, and exploratory. These lack of or decrease in organizational practices and learning opportunities reflecting the millennials’ digital and social learning style may contribute to higher education challenges pertaining to student retention, persistence, graduation rates. Before moving on, let’s take a few more specific examples of traditional classroom learning activities and contrast them with millennial activities and behaviors.
  • We’ll use two activities done in almost every college class: Reading and Writing. Millennials read on average/year (see table 1) and write in one class (see table 2) If would like to see and hear from Millennial learners themselves, I strongly encourage you to visit the above site on youtube. It’s a video developed by Professor Michael Wesch at Kansas State University. It has some powerful statistics and does a wonderful job contextualizing how Millennials behave and respond to higher education in general. Now that we’ve talked a bit about millennial characteristics and behaviors, let’s talk about the world we as educators attempt to prepare them for.
  • See Katz (ICT Assessment – ETS for Information Literacy); U.S. Department of Labor – Skills and Tasks for Jobs (2007)
  • Typically, when faculty develop a course, four factors are considered: What is to be taught? How will the content be delivered? What will students do to apply the content learned? And what will students produce to demonstrate their learning? In many instances, the text book drives the course along with the content. And unfortunately, some faculty feel that ALL of the content MUST be covered. Although these four characteristics of course planning are important, changes regarding how to cover, apply, and create course-relevant material is necessary especially in light of the Millennial learners’ arrival to campus and the technological pervasiveness reshaping definitions of literacy and civic, societal, and professional engagement.
  • This changing environment requires us to re-imagine what education might/should look like:
  • ConnectYard streamlines the communication process (relevant, timely, available information sought after by the millennial) Provides an opportunity to learn using a format students are familiar with – Facebook, Twitter, and Text Messaging. Assists with the development of critically thinking, 21 st century citizens
  • At this time, I’d like to open the floor for questions you may have about the millennial, pedagogy, or ConnectYard.
  • Webinar: Thinking and Teaching Digitally: Connecting to the Millennial Learner

    1. 1. Connecting to the Millennial Learner Thinking and Teaching Digitally: Renee Robinson, PhD, Communication Saint Xavier University, Chicago Sponsored by ConnectYard Inc.
    2. 2. Webinar Objectives <ul><li>Identify Millennial Characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Understand Millennial Behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Re-imagine Pedagogies that Assist Millennial Learning </li></ul>
    3. 3. Millennial Synonyms
    4. 4. Millennials (1982-2000) (Atkinson, 2004)
    5. 5. Millennials (1982-2000) (Atkinson, 2004)
    6. 6. Millennial Characteristics ( Howe & Strauss, 2003)
    7. 7. Millennial Characteristics ( Howe & Strauss, 2003)
    8. 8. Millennial Lifespan
    9. 9. Millennials Value
    10. 10. Communication <ul><li>Expected </li></ul><ul><li>Available </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant Information </li></ul>
    11. 11. Social Media Text Messaging
    12. 12. Higher Education Currently
    13. 13. Millennial Habits http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o&feature= PlayList&p=826AB1B267C1B704&index=1 Activty Books Websites Facebook Reading/Year 8 2300 1281 Activity Assignments Emails Writing/Semester (1 course) 42 pages 500
    14. 14. 21 st Century Literacy <ul><li>Researching topics in diverse, digitally-rich environments </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating and synthesizing information from different online sources </li></ul><ul><li>Navigating various hardware and software to manipulate messages to fit different audiences </li></ul>
    15. 15. Instruction
    16. 16. The Re-imagination of Education <ul><li>Teacher is a coach and facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>Student is a builder and doer </li></ul><ul><li>The classroom is a brick and click </li></ul><ul><li>space </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogical strategies are multi- </li></ul><ul><li>channel and multimedia-based </li></ul>
    17. 17. Course Design <ul><li>Learning Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Theoretically-based </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learner-centered (Kolb, 1984; Honey & Mumford, 2000; Gardner, 1991) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Backward Course Design (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998) </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Sample Assignment #1 Learning Objective: Demonstrate understanding of nonverbal cues in the communication process. Activity: Quiz question – Application of theory/concept learned Examine your surroundings. Identify one nonverbal concept discussed in class. Send me the concept name along with the description of the example you identified via Email, Text, or Twitter.
    19. 19. Sample Assignment #2 <ul><li>Student Website </li></ul>
    20. 20. Connecting to the Millennial Learner Thinking and Teaching Digitally: Renee Robinson, PhD, Communication Saint Xavier University, Chicago Sponsored by ConnectYard Inc.