Anyone born after 1980 This generation, born between 1982 and 1991, includes students currently enrolled in colleges and universities, recent graduates, and future college Students (Lippincott, 2010). College students of the millennial generation often do their academic work either with or around their friends or classmates, make ample use of technology and digital content, and focus on their academic work late in the day and into early morning (Lippincott, 2010).
As a group, Millennials are engaged in “knowledge work” at a higher percentage than other generations (Thompson & Gregory, 2012). The Millennial generation has been exposed to educational, economic, social, and political contexts that are unique from previous generations (Thompson & Gregory, 2012). For example, this generation has been shaped by, among other things, helicopter parents, frequent positive feedback and reassurance, significant leaps in technology, and political and economic turmoil (Thompson & Gregory, 2012). The Millennial generation seeks to be more connected and is more focused on social interactions than students of previous Years (Hansen, 2011).
They also recognize that students with technology skills will often be sought after in the job market of their chosen Profession (Lippincott, 2010). Through the physical spaces, hardware, software, digital and print collections, and expert help, students can create a wide variety of projects for their classes, including print papers (with embedded images or audio, if desired), PowerPoint presentations, videos, podcasts, charts, spreadsheets, and Web sites. Technology underlies many aspects of the ways that we conduct academic work today, from using word processors to create text documents to searching online library catalogs and databases to locate information to using multimedia editing software to create a video (Lippincott, 2010).
Millennials not only participate in social media, it is a part of their lives. Zickurh’s (as cited in Jenkins-Guarnieri et al., 2013) states that 95% of young adults aged 18 to 33 years reporting activity online in recent years. Social media was first looked at as a way to pick up on single people. It moved quickly into a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. Businesses soon caught on and found that social media was a great way to speak to their target market. Even quicker they found out that social media can also do harm to their business if they act in a way that the public is not fond of. Millennials know what an influence they have and they use it to their advantage. Educators soon found they could reach the students in their preferred way of communicating. Many colleges and universities have a presence on social media. Many educators believe that these tools offer new educational affordances and avenues for students to interact with each other and with their teachers or tutors (Poellhuber & Anderson, 2011). Millennials are known for the limited time they spend studying. Study time could be increased through collaborative interaction, which meets the social needs of this generation (Hansen, 2011).
A library is synonymous with research. However, more and more students are skipping trips to the library and accessing the Internet to do their research. Using online libraries created by their educational institutions. With technology having such an impact on Millennials, it is not surprising that the Internet plays a larger role in the students’ lives than the library (Hansen, 2011). Libraries must move with the times and ensure that they have an abundance of workstations for people to conduct research. The more that libraries can promote a close connection between digital content, technology, and academic and professional work, the better they can contribute to the education and job readiness of their students (Lippincott, 2010).
Knowing ones way around a computer and the plethora of design software available will not only provide a creative outlet for technology users, it will give them an advantage in the work place. Employers like versatility, they want in many cases two for one in their employees. For example, if someone has a design background and wants to get into marketing, they would have a definite advantage over someone with just a marketing degree. Millennials are known for their desire to learn new knowledge from technology, they do not shy away from learning all they can when it comes to the latest software or technological device. Palfrey & Gasser (as cited in Lippincott, 2010) stated that “ They are joined by a set of common practices, including the amount of time they spend using digital technologies, their tendency to multitask, their tendency to express themselves and relate to one another in ways mediated by digital technologies, and their patterns of using the technologies to access and use information and create new knowledge and art forms ”
If you see a millennial on the street and they are not texting, talking on a cell phone or staring endlessly at something they are watching or reading on their phones, then their battery is probably dead. Cell phones and smart phones are to a millennial like legs are to a racehorse, without them they cannot function. A little extreme? Perhaps, but not far fetched. Millennials love their technology, especially when it comes to the latest, fastest and most advanced smart phones. They text, surf the net, check their social media, instant message, check emails and talk using their preferred method of communication. “From the data we gathered through time diaries, students indicated that the greatest amount of personal time is spent in some form of communication e.g. talking face to face, texting, talking on the phone, and using social networking Web sites (Hansen, 2011).
Millenials love their game applications. Whether playing online games with other people or playing a single player app on their smartphone, Millennials have constant entertainment. Sites such as youtube and hulu provide opportunities to catch the latest videos or movies with a couple swipes of their smartphone. Which makes unraveling the tape on a VHS look archaic.
Whether writing code or thinking of the next app for a smartphone, the millennials are busy developing the future. Web developers, computer engineers and software engineers to name a few are in high demand in the workforce and Millennials are entering the workforce much more educated in these areas than any generation before.
Social Media like Twitter and Facebook can spread news like wild fire. Millennials will keep up with their current events via Social Media above other methods of retrieving information. RSS feeds are a great way for Millennials to get updates on topics they deem relevant or interesting Internet news sites are an easy way to jump on see or read what you want and get back to your daily life.
Recording and tracking data is easier than ever. The ability to enter data into a spreadsheet that you can sort any way you want and even create formulas to add the data and reduce error. These spreadsheets can also create tables and charts that can be used as a different way to display data. There is also proprietary database software that can be used to store and track all types of data.
Millennials begin using presentation software early on. Microsoft Power Point is an easy way to create presentations and it is used from grade school all the way to the workplace. So understanding how to create good presentations is a great skill set for the Millennials to have.
Students have it easy these days. Spell check, delete and document writing software have almost made “white out” obsolete. Millennials would not know what to do with a typewriter. The technology they have is a continuously updated software called Microsoft Office Suite where they can access Microsoft Word to write their papers and do their projects.
Schools must stay current with technology Teachers receive training Districts must allot funding for new technology Educators should stay ahead of what employers expect their new hires to know when they enter the workforce.
A Millennial’s learning environment must stay current with the latest in learning technology, software and computing devices. Advancement in technology happens at a pace that can make this task almost impossible for educators. However, as the picture shows “Technology is a given, not a debate.”
Training should take place at all levels. Not only with the teacher’s and faculty, but with the Administration as well. If the principle of the school is on top of what is current in technology then they can pass expectations onto their teachers and faculty. Trainings should be conducted Semi-Annually and through ought all disciplines. Every subject or discipline has technologies that can aid or enhance student learning.
With all of the cuts to education it may seem impossible to demand that the government set aside money for education to spend on technology. If the government does not fund technology now, it will be behind in the future. Students will not be able to compete in a global market, because their education failed to prepare them to enter into the workforce.
If you were asked today what is considered to be an entry level position, you may say someone straight out of college. Someone with little to no experience or work history. Unfortunately, with unemployment at such a high percentage, employers are looking to fill entry level positions with skilled workers. So the degree of difficulty for a new graduate to find a job increases drastically. Today students have to acquire industry skills during their education through projects, volunteer work and internships. Resumes must compete with unemployed skilled workers with years of experience. Another reason Millenials are attractive to employers. They come to the table with a better grasp on technology than their counterparts. Trick is the Millenials have to show it on paper and defining class and personal projects as well as doing volunteer work and internships will help beef up their resumes and give them a better chance at finding employment once they graduate. They also recognize that students with technology skills will often be sought after in the job market of their chosen Profession (Lippincott, 2010).
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The MillennialsBy Janice Turner
The MillenialsWho are the members of this group?Who are the members of this group?How are they different from other Generations?How are they different from other Generations?Ten ways they use technology for formal and informalTen ways they use technology for formal and informallearninglearningHow the use of technology affects the learningHow the use of technology affects the learningenvironment?environment?
Who Are the Millennials?Born after 1980Born after 1980College studentsCollege studentsWork in groupsWork in groupsAmple use of technologyAmple use of technology
Engaged in “knowledge work”Exposure to unique environmental influencesExperienced significant leaps in technologyFocused on social interactionsHow Are They Different?
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