Jen LaMaster said:
I’ve been reading this post … from EdTech Magazine about how millennials use technology. Not the usual “how to make a millennial happy” stuff… but data on their use of mobile technology to create, consume, and collect information. The article claims that cellphones are the most popular device but that “computers” are a close second for productivity. The intersection of two being in cloud tools linking the quick access/communication device with the productivity of a full operating system. True multi-channel users in a mobile world.
What does this mean for the average educational administrator? This is our hiring pool. The article cites a corporate-sponsored study where they claim that millennials make up 37% of the current workforce with a projection of 75% of the workforce by 2025.
Our position as education administrator challenges us to hire, promote, and retain employees who use technology in innovative and productive ways (ISTE Admin Standard 4C). How are our classroom policies stifling these mobile, multi-channel young educators? Could some of our reported teacher shortage be related to a lack of willingness to embrace a generation who uses technology outside our control boundaries? As I evaluate and hire young faculty, I’ll admit I have to check some of my 46-year-old parameters at the door. But are we really ready to welcome this next generation of teachers for their strengths and talents?
If my principal walks in and I’m on my computer, that is completely okay, BUT if I’m on my phone doing the exact same task I get a funny look. We have got to stop seeing mobile devices as only toys.
As Educators we should use technology as a tool to educate students. Millennials are digital natives, and thus are usually more proficient in using technology. That being said, educators need to “upgrade” their curriculum analysis to include more use of technology, and maybe one way is by asking the millennials to come up with ideas to “upgrade” the curriculum. For example, make a game as a study guide for an exam. Make that game into an app that the students can download easily off iTunes. The students will be playing a game AND be studying for the exam.