Bridging the Generational Divide: Strategies for Engaging the Millennials Closing Keynote at Dialogue ’06 Dr Joy Mighty Queen’s University
The Generational Divide
Engaging the Millennials
Generations Birth Cohorts 20-25 years GI’s (WWI) 1901-1924 Silent Generation 1925-1942 Baby Boomer 1943-1960 Generation X 1961-1981 Millennials 1982- Present
The Millennial Generation
Ctrl + Alt + Del is as basic as ABC
Computers have always fit in their backpacks
The Internet is better than TV
Reality is no longer real
Doing is more important than knowing
Multitasking is a way of life
Staying connected is essential
There is zero tolerance for delays
Consumer and creator are becoming blurred
Typing is preferred to handwriting
A mode of operation offered by an operating system in which a computer works on more than one task or application at a time.
The act of juggling several tasks at once, as opposed to working from task to task in a linear fashion.
How many people:
Watch TV and talk on the phone at the same time?
Watch TV, talk on the phone, and do another activity (e.g. use the computer, read, do craft, read students’ papers)
These are all examples of multi-tasking.
Multi-tasking is normal!
But the Millennials do different and many more tasks!
Multitasking while online – Grunwald, 2004 0 100 80 60 40 20 Percentage Base: Kids 13-17 Listen to radio while online Watch TV while online Talk on phone while online Visit a site mentioned by someone on the phone Send IM to person they’re talking to Visit website seen on TV Visit website heard on radio
Web Use by High School Students
100% Use the internet to seek information on universities, careers and jobs
74% of teens use IM as a major communication vehicle vs. 44% of online adults
54% of students (grades 7-12) know more IM screen names than home phone numbers
The Internet is a primary communication tool
81% email friends and relatives
70% use instant messaging to keep in
56% prefer the Internet to the
– Lenhart, Simon & Graziano, 2001; NetDay, 2003
More Generational Differences Continuous learning is a way of life The more they learn the more they stay Train them too much and they’ll leave Feedback whenever I want it at the push of a button Sorry to interrupt, but how am I doing? Feedback once a year, with lots of documentation Work isn’t everything; I need flexibility so I can balance all my activities Give me balance now, not when I’m 65 Help me balance everyone else and find meaning myself Work that has meaning for me Freedom is the ultimate reward Money, title, recognition etc Build parallel careers Build a portable career Build a stellar career Millennials Generation X Baby Boomers
“ The number one thing to realize with the Millennials is that as a whole they reflect much more parental perfectionism than any generation in living memory. Colleges and universities should know that they are not just getting a kid, but they are also getting a parent .”
Howe, N. & Strauss, B. (2000). Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation.
New York: Vintage Books
Engaging the Millennials
Learner Characteristics of Millennials
Easily bored if “nothing to do” (active; multitasking)
Study not for the sake of learning and thrill of knowledge, but to pass the test, pass the course, and get the degree, use the knowledge (practical; achievement-oriented)
More interested in general knowledge than in exploring a subject in depth (multitasking; surface learning)
Experience high levels of stress and anxiety (pressured)
Rules are perceived without personal or moral commitment leading to view that “cheating is OK if you don’t get caught” (consumer and creator blurred; rule followers if rules are clear)
Large career aspirations, but with unrealistic expectations about what is required to reach the goal (reality no longer real)
7 Principles for Good Practice
Encourages student-teacher contact
Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students
Encourages active learning
Gives prompt feedback
Emphasizes time on task
Communicates high expectations, and
Respects diverse talents and ways of learning
Teaching Strategies and Retention
Discussion Groups 50%
Practice by doing 75%
Teaching Others 90%
Reflection and Taking Action
Reflect on what you have heard about the Millennials, their characteristics as learners, and the principles for good practice.
Write down 3 specific implications for how you practice your role and how you might better communicate with and engage Millennials.
Identify one implication that you will put into action in the next school year.
Share with your neighbour.
Summary of Strategies for Engaging Millennials
Collaborative Learning and learning communities
Problem or Case Based Learning; real-world examples
Learning must be relevant, engaging, and meaningful
L earning must expand beyond classroom walls
Portability of information is critical (easy, online access)
Content must be dynamically generated (just in time; web)
Many and varied activities (experiential; authentic)
High expectations (goals and frequent feedback)
Interaction (with the “teacher”, the material, and peers)
Respect for diversity
Parting Words Provide a flexible learning environment. Use emerging technologies if appropriate 6. Be flexible Treat students/their ideas with respect 5. Respect me Allow humour in the learning environment 4.Let’s have fun Encourage work in teams. Create opportunities for social interaction 3. Let me work with friends Provide opportunities that challenge them and allow for trying new things 2. Challenge me Strive to be a role model 1. You be the leader Implications What Millennials Want
Thank you and best wishes! [email_address] http://www.queensu.ca/ctl