Saturday, June 16, 2007

STLHE 2007 - Conference Day Two - How To Connect With Millennials Or Generation Y

This presentation was given by Linda Szekely from the University of Alberta. The thrust of the presentation was how to best connect with Millennials, the generation that currently makes up the majority of post-secondary learners. the current generations are:
  1. The seniors (veterans) - born between 1922 and 1943
  2. The baby boomers - born between 1944 and 1960
  3. Generation X - born between 1960 and 1980
  4. Generation Y (Millennials) - born between 1980 and 2000
There are many differences/conflicts between the generations. Millennials are the most child-centric generation and are technologically savvy.

For example here are some stats on Facebook:
  • 18th in world Web sites
  • Number 1 for photos in USA
  • Toronto is the largest Facebook network - 600,000
  • second most in thing with undergrads tied with beer and sex
  • losing inly to the iPod
Millennials are keen on achievement, pressured to the point of cheating, life comes before work, and they are significant users of technology.

Proven practices with Millennials:
  • Feedback
  • More time to process and analyze
  • Longer orientation to foster sense of safety and belonging
  • Reward rather than punish to inspire, not isolate
An interesting questionnaire was handed out - 30 questions, each with three answers. The questionnaire was scored with each question being put into one of three categories:
  1. Baby Boomers
  2. Generation X
  3. Millennials
I scored my questionnaire and the results were:
  1. Baby Boomers - 4
  2. Generation X - 11
  3. Millennials - 15
This despite being a baby boomer (by birth anyway). these result may explain a lot to some people, but i attribute my attitudes to the fact that I am immersed in new technologies and spend most of my time with Millennials. Something had to rub off eventually...

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