Teaching Millennials #connections

Teaching Millennials #connections

by Linnea Lyding, ACU Education Department Chair Millennials, it turns out, are on track to becoming “the most educated generation in American history” (Pew Research Center, 2010, p. 2).  As the ACU Education Department Chair, I decided it was time to learn as much as I could about this unique and passionate group of students that fill our university classrooms. Using a quick, informal survey of friends and family, I came up with six key words that relate to the activities of a Millennial.  The words are: selfies, snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, emojis, and hashtags.  At first glance, these words can give the impression of self-absorption.  However, I work with Millennials, and because of this, I see something deeper.  I see connections.  By staying connected in real time, they are able to share whom they are with, what they are doing, and how they are feeling with the world around them. Always curious and ready to act, Millennials enjoy reaching out with hashtags to find people to connect with on similar topics of interest. Millennials are often referred to as the “connected” generation, implying that they are constantly connected to technology.  I agree that they are “connected;” however, I would say their connections are much more personal than technological. According to the Pew Research Center (2010), Millennials “get along well with others, especially their elders” (p. 8).  Millennials are not only connected to their peers, but they also connect with and care about non-profit causes.  This is evidenced by the fact that “84% of Millennial employees made a charitable donation in 2014” (Achieve, 2015, p. 9), and they volunteered as...

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