Millennials (those students 18 to 29 years of age) or Gen Y are more connected than any previous population attending college. If we are to be equally connected with our students, then we need to consider how we can tap into these communication preferences.
- Millennials are almost always connected via a mobile device. They are actively engaged in real-time communications and they expect everyone else to be equally connected. In fact, this connected market segment spends 14% more time using their mobile devices than other age groups (Experian).
- 90% of Millennials have a cell phone and over half are Smart Phones.
- 88% of Millennials use a cell phone to text.
- 80% of Millennials have texted in the last 24 hours.
- Sadly, 64% confess that they have texted while driving
- 41% of Millennials do not have a land line, only a cell phone.
Lesson Learned - Connect with my students using my Smart Phone:Today, my office phone forwards to my cell phone when I am out of the office. If I happen to miss a call, I can pick up my voice mail or read the voice messages on my email. If the caller failed to leave a voice mail, I can check my recent calls list. I start every day by checking my class email on the course Learning Management System (LMS). The messages students send via the LMS can be set up to forward to my Smartphone. I am more connected with my students using my Smartphone than ever before in my teaching career. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. To really meet the needs of my students I need strive to make as many of my online course materials mobile friendly.
- Millennials have the highest social networking penetration of any generation. They are the most active age group on Facebook and Twitter.
- 75% of Millennials have a profile on at least one form of social media.
- 62% of Millennials report having used wireless Internet away from home.
- 20% of Millennials have uploaded a video of themselves.
- 14% of Millennials use Twitter.
- Early adopter millennials are one third more likely to IM/Chat than the average millennial (eMarketer).
- Millennials prefer short and sweet communications. Concise and to the point.
- Millennials are eager to share what is important to them.
- Millennials are multi-taskers or multi-channel communicators.
Interestingly, for my discipline (parks, recreation and tourism) utilizing social media, and specifically Facebook would be the most effective means of capturing the Millennial's attention. We need to effectively utilize Facebook and Twitter to communicate. Our course materials should incorporate video and audio whenever possible. We can increase our accessibility if we incorporate IM/chats within our office hours.
Recently CompassLabs released the results of a research study examining the most frequent topics posted by Millennials. Favorite activities identified by the study provides insight into what types of posts will capture their attention.
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