Thursday, October 13, 2011

Instructing and Training the "Millennials"

The other day I was talking to a friend who is coaching middle school football, then last night I was talking to a friend who is middle school parent.  The theme in both conversations centered around them not wanting to read.  The football players won’t read a playbook, and the son won’t read his homework without music.  The two events were swarming in my mind surrounding the fact that we are learning of the “Millennials” as learners and how educators are truly going to have to employ unique instructional techniques to reach this group as they start and continue to enter the work force.

I recently heard a 10 year old dissing a video game for poor resolution in the graphics! If he had ever seen the original Pac Man and Ms. Pac Man he would have surely died!  Yet they are growing up in this technical evolution and those in industry as well as education are going to have to start thinking of ways to reach this generation. 

I had suggested to the football coach taking his playbook and putting into Movie Maker, building in transitions and having football and age appropriate music in the background.  As they view the playbook transition they will associate the music to the plays.  Perhaps during training they should also play the same music to the play, and eventually the players will hear the music in their head during games and be able to recall the plays.  They simply aren’t going to go home and study a book.

My friend allowed her son to put on his headphones to stay awake while reading boring homework assignments.  Face it, we’ve all been through middle school and know how boring some of the assignments can be so who can blame him.  Further, with him growing up an active outside boy who also plays a fair share of video games, sitting still and focusing on one singular thing at a time is boring to him.

I foresee the trainers being forced to introduce more and more multimedia into presentations, creating podcasts and movies set to music in order to grab and hold onto the attention span of this generation.  By all means, use good graphics resolution because they will surely dismiss the value of your educational product based upon poor graphic images.

This is going to be a recurring thing, I believe that more and more we are going to have to turn to technology as an educational necessity, not just a tool.  I am interested in hearing of how you are encouraging the “Millennials” to learn.

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