The Millennial Generation seems to be a mystery for those who are not a part of it. People categorized as the millennial generation were born approximately between 1982 and 2002. Millennials are those people who were coming of age during the turn of the century. There are approximately 80 million people in this generation (http://www.ehow.com/info_8144493_millennial-generation-characteristics.html).
What is the significance of the Millennial generation?Millennialsbring different skills and backgrounds to the job market. Previous generations would work hard and sacrifice time for self and family in order to put food on the table. The new generation of workers in the work force expects to find a balance between work, personal time, and family. With this goal in mind, the job seekers will pick and choose what type of job they work based on benefits, hours, and flexibility. In the past, workers would stay in a job for their entire time in the workforce, or switch only when necessary. Now, workers are regularly switching jobs and careers based upon what options benefit them the most. Workers in the Millennial generation also seek regular feedback and early opportunities for responsibilities. While this generation aims to please and expects behavior reinforcement, they are not particular about showing loyalty to an employer.(http://www.ehow.com/info_8144493_millennial-generation-characteristics.html)
What is the significance of the Millennial generation? Continued….In relation to religion, the Millenial generation affiliates themselves the least with organized religion. Twenty-six percent of this generation claim no affiliation to any particular religion, while also attending religious services are the lowest rates. The Center for Ministry Development explain that, despite the aforementioned statistics, Millennialsare spiritually hungry and willing to seek answers about their personal morality.(http://www.ehow.com/info_8144493_millennial-generation-characteristics.html)
What is the significance of the Millennial generation? Continued….This generation of Millennialshave been inundated with technology from a very young age. During a very young age, Millennialshave been exposed to ever-evolving technology. As a result of this, they are fairly tech-savvy especially in the realm of social media. Millennialsare considered to be group oriented which ties into the appeal of Facebook and twitter networks. Generally, Millennialsspend a lot of time multitasking and working in several forms of communication at a time. (http://www.ehow.com/info_8144493_millennial-generation-characteristics.html)
How are Millennialsdifferent? For this generation, the need for technology to be included in learning is high. Studies link the integration of technology in the classroom to higher learner achievement (Stuht & Colcord, 2011). Schools need to develop learner skills in order to help them function in the current job market. Learners need to learn how to use technology and work collaboratively with others across the miles. Additionally, Millennialsare used to past paced information that is delivered in chunks. The traditional lecturing format is no longer relevant for Millennialsor for any generation to follow. The relevance of the information is also very important. Millennialswant to know how what they are learning applies to their lives.
Computers are the most obvious and common source of technology that Millennialsare using. From the first floppy drive and dial-up Internet to 4G access and 1G thumb drives, Millennialsare fluid at adapting to upgraded technology and new tools. Most of the tools stem from the use of a personal computer. Computers are becoming more and more affordable. Often times, there are schools that offer personal computers for their students to use at school and at home. Computers can be used for academic reasons or for leisure activities like social networking or online shopping, etc. A survey of Millennialsin 2008 revealed that they use computers for both recreation and socializing. If computers are not readily accessible, they are very likely to seek it out to fulfill their needs (Mahoney & Laszczak, 2009).
Cell Phones are equally popular among Millennials. As with computers, cell phones are becoming more affordable with more tools and services. Cell phones have all but replaced the home phone or land lines for the Millennial generation. In the classroom, cell phones are often considered a nuisance. The educator needs to learn how to utilize this tool to maximize student learning. Fighting the use of cell phones in the classroom is a waste of time. As technology advances, and cell phone use becomes more common, using them from learning only makes sense. How can one utilize cell phones for learning?Many schools and districts have policies in place for the appropriate use of cellphone in the classroom. These policies span from elementary school up to higher education learning environments. Finding a balance between respectful cell phone use and learning should be possible. Charles (2012) outlines effective guidelines for utilizing cell phones in the learning environment:1- Discuss when/how cell phones can be used. Allow students to help determine rules and protocols. Allow for negotiations to be made so students get full input2- Incorporate mobile media into pedagogical practices- permit cell phones to be used as “mobile learning devices.” The teacher should design activities that allow use of the device.3- Develop meta-awareness of device use in the classroom or learning environment- Students and teachers must be taught a deep understanding of the rules and reasons behind them. The consequences should be clear and advantages acknowledged.
Avatars are very popular among millennials. Avatars can be used for entertainment and gaming while also being utilized in a learning environment. One example of how the use of avatars can be used in learning is through the use of a multiuser virtual environment (MUVE). In an MUVE there are three interfaces which will facilitate learning. The first is called the “world to desktop” interface. Here, the learner has access to content experts miles away or in different time zones. Mentoring relationships can be established and learner have a regular one on one interaction. Next, there are interfaces for “ubiquitous computing.” Resources can be delivered to portable wireless devices (ipod, cell phone, tablet, etc.) on a daily basis. Lastly, learners would work in an environment much like the Second Life resource. It is called the “Alice in Wonderland” MUVE. Avatars interact with computer-based agents and the learning objective is addressed in this environment (Ketelhut, Clarke, Dede, Nelson, & Bowman,2005). To back up the use of MUVE’s, Harvard’s Graduate School of Education created and studied the use of MUVE’s and middle school students learning about science and society. Learners navigated the world through use of their avatar and learned about the town they lived in and computer-created interactions. Teachers reported that the learners had a deeper learning and developed problem solving skills as they navigated in the virtual world. Not only did teacher observe positive changes in their students, but student absentee rates dropped by 35% during the time the classroom was using the MUVE (2005). It would be important to find a balance between using the virtual world and more traditional learning tactics. Millennialsneed the be engaged in different ways. The use of avatar programs provide a huge engagement piece to learning.
Millennialshave the ability to roll with the technological advances. Using technology is intuitive and movie making programs are another tool used regularly. There are many options out there available for people to use. Some popular movie making programs include YouTube and Windows MovieMaker. Just as Google is the go-to source for finding immediate answers, YouTube has become immensely popular for searching for music videos and popular outtakes from television, among other things. Production of videos and use of videos can be used educationally as well. Movie making programs are a great way to increase collaborative work skills and gain knowledge on the newest functions of available programs.
Currently, eReaders of every flavor can be found almost anywhere in a public setting. There are many brands to choose from like the Kindle, Nook, or Sony Reader. The cost of an eReader if fairly cheap as far as electronics go. Millennials are familiar with this tool as well. It can be used for recreation or in an education setting. Educators consider the eReader a “hand held library.” The potential for changing how people and student access information can be revolutionized by the handheld eReaders. The benefits of this have come to the forefront of National policy forums. There is a proposal on the table titled, “A Kindle in Every Backpack: A Proposal for eTextbooks in American Schools.” This proposal is piloting a program with 400,000 students who are using the Kindle in school. The pilot will showcase whether or not an eReader will enhance the educational experience (http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3752572).
Applications have become a huge part of everyday activity. Available applications have tools for navigation, shopping, tracking ovulation, coupons, personal exercise programs, music, backing up text messages, and so forth. Applications are being created and modified quickly. A lot of devices will update the newest version of an application automatically to keep the device up to date. Applications can be run on tablets, eReaders, cell phones, and computers. Aside from the plethora of personal uses, applications can be used for education purposes as well. Applications are available now, for affordable prices, and many of often free. Applications are a near term technology. That means they should be utilized now in the education setting and to expand one’s learning.
Millennials have been using game systems since the very first Nintendo was released. Playing games on a system are second nature and most often used for entertainment. Newer game systems are more interactive with responsive player controls or no controls at all. Gaming systems will continue to be advanced and used regularly for Millennials and generations to follow. The great thing about the systems is that they can and are used for educational purposed as well. Meeting people at their interests with relevancy to their lives will make the material they are learning more engaging. Incorporating game based will help an institutions program stay relevant as well. Characteristics that games have that engage learners include the ability to make decisions, discuss, compete, imagine, and make connections, both imaginary and emotional (Zhi-Hong, Liao, Cheng, Yeh, & Tak-Wai, 2012). There is not a traditional substitute that can replace those characteristics. Depending on the game or resource, the cost might vary; however, the equipment to be purchased is really limited to what is provided to the students currently. The game based learning incorporation will have to be able to be applied to all disciplines so every teacher has an option to enhance his/her instruction. A study on game based learning in math was conducted with the research question of: What are the influences of game quests on students’ math learning in terms of perception of enjoyment and goal-pursuing? The researchers, Zhi-Hong, Liao, Cheng, Yeh, and Tak-Wai, discovered that the game based math quests revealed significant influences on student perspectives. The students enjoyed working on the math in the game, while working towards a common goal. The math quest also encouraged active participation and increased intensity for attempted learning behaviors. The results were short term, but proved effective for the duration of the game based lessons (Zhi-Hong, Liao, Cheng, Yeh, & Tak-Wai, 2012). Incorporating a game into the drill and practice of learning techniques seems to improve engagement and retention of the mathematical concepts. This effectiveness could tie into each core class. The main task would be keeping up with the games that will enhance instruction and maintaining a sort of database for each class and concepts to be covered and/or enhanced by the game.
Another tool common for both recreational interaction and academic interaction are message boards. The Millennia generation uses message boards to discuss politics, religion, celebrities, sports, and a plethora of other social topics. Message boards are used to interact, debate, and work out issues. However, the message boards are often used in the educational setting as well. Xie and Ke (2011) explain that their research suggests that learners need to be situated in a social and cultural context to create better understanding of the topic being learned. Message boards allowed for information and experiences to be shared from learner to learner.
The social network facebook reported 67 million active users in 2008 (Park, Key, & Valenzuela, 2009). Facebook allows users to form friends on the networking site. It acts as a pathway which bridges online and offline contacts (Park, Key, Valenzuela, 2009). Millennials and the generations that are considered more connected than any other generation. Facebook and other social networking sites engage users on a social level. Aside from web-based research and formal education, one’s social networks acts as a huge influence on how users form their opinions and make decisions. Interpersonal relationships have a huge impact on the decisions made by the Millennial generation. Cadima, Ojeda, and Monguet (2012) explain that Social networks also play an essential role in learning environments as a key channel for knowledge sharing and as a source of social support. Learning activities involving group work and collaboration promote learner-to-learner interactions in order to support the co-construction of knowledge and the sharing of information and resources. Traditional instructional design will continue to be important, but additional emphasis on diverse multifaceted networks needs to be placed to address both the way knowledge exist
How are Millennials Different? Need for technology in Education:- Studies link classroom technology use to high achievement- Info should be delivered in chunks- New forms of learning should be explored- Relevance is important to this generation.
Computers/ Laptops:- More readily accessible- Becoming more affordable- Schools offer personal computers- Easy access for Internet labs- Used for academics and leisure
Cell Phones: Uses for Learning:- More advanced - Discuss when/how cell- Potable computer phones can be used- Can be used in the - Incorporate mobile classroom media into pedagogical- Better connections mean practices more access in many - Develop meta- different places awareness of use
Avatars:- Accessible on computers, video games, movies- Can be used for recreation and learning- Cutting edge, interesting, and interactive
Movie Makers:- Accessible on computers, video games, movies- Can be used for recreation and learning- Cutting edge, interesting, and interactive
eReaders :- Portable and fairly inexpensive- Variety of types to choose from- Can be used for recreation or for education purposes
Applications :- Available for a variety of devices- Aps for virtually anything a person could need- Can be used for recreation or for education purposes THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT!
Gaming Systems:- Familiar and used frequently- Can be used for recreation and learning
Message Boards:- Can be used as social or academic forums- Great tool for collaborative learning and interaction
Social Networking:- Popular and widely used- Accessible from all mobile devices- Good tool for networking
Cadima, R., Ojeda, J., & Monguet, J. M. (2012). Social networks and performance in distrbuted learning communities. Educational Technology & Society, 15(4), 296-304. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.Charles, A.S. (2012). Cell phones:Rule-setting, rule-breaking, and relationships in classrooms. American Secondary Education, 40(3), 4-16. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.Ketelhut, D., Clarke, J., Dede, C., Nelson, B., & Bowman, C.D. (2005). Extending library servicesthrough emerging interactive media. Knowledge Quest, 34(1), 29-32. Retrieved from AcademicSearch Premier.Mahoney, K., & Laszczak, K. (2009). Teen tech week survey results. Young Adult Library Services,7(2), 10-12. Retrieved from Academic Search PremierMillennial Generation Characteristics [Web Page]. (2002). Accessed 2012 Nov. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/info_8144493_millennial-generation-characteristics.htmlNamsu, P., Kee, K.F., & Valenzuela, S. (2009). Being immersed in social networking environment: Facebook groups, uses and gratifications, and social outcomes. CyberPhyschology & Behavior, 12(6), 729-733.Scholastic [Web Page]. (2012). Accessed 2012 Nov. Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3752572Stuhy, A., & Colcord, C. (2011). Tech, teachers, & teens: Bridging the divide. Leadership, 40(4), 26-30. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.Xie, K. & Ke, F. (2011). The role of students’ motivation in peer-moderated asynchronous online discussions. British Journal of Education Technology, 42(6), 916-930. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.Zhi-Hong, C., Liao, C.Y., Cheng, H.H., Yeh, C.C., & Tak-Wai, C. (2012). Influence of game quests on pupils enjoyment and goal-pursuing in math learning. Journal of EducationalTechnology & Society, 15(2), 317-327. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.
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