Millennials are also known as Digital Kids, Generation Y or Me Generation – they are young people who were born shortly before the beginning of the Internet era. The distinctive traits of the millennials are disrespect to the authorities, high social awareness, high intellect, deep sense of justice, deceptive laziness, erratic behavior, and high self-awareness.
Whether we like it or not, modern education wasn’t tailored for millennials. It was tailored for the children of the industrial era; however, the industrial era ended long ago, while the old educational systems are still utilized. All these old tricks don’t work for Generation Y kids, which results in many students dropping the college, even if they have just one year left before the graduation. It happens so because what a person from the Baby Boomer generation could do in five years, a millennial can do only in one year, so why wasting time for things that are uninteresting for them? All these facts mean that if colleges and universities still want to be attended, they need to search for the new ways of working with students.
Importance of Engagement
Millennials are often considered lazy, but this is far from being true. They’re called lazy because they’re forced to do something that they don’t want to do. A Generation Y representative will rather engage in something he/she likes than in a class or homework, which he/she finds meaningless. Also, a millennial kid will choose to do something interesting rather than not to do anything at all. The question is, ‘Can educational institutions offer something interesting to millennials?’ There are certain practices, which definitely bring outstanding results in terms of educational work with millennials. Here are the top 10 hints to motivate millennials to study:
- There should be an Internet access and a hands-on methodology if you want millennials to engage in studying;
- Don’t force millennials – mentor them. It’s the best way to work with Generation Y kids. Invite a guest speaker and then let them mentor each other;
- Give them some space and freedom to vent into the studied subject individually;
- Don’t try to show that you’re superior. Rather treat them as equals;
- Don’t get stuck in theory, millennials want to get practical knowledge and experiences;
- Use the tools of the modern era – apps, blogs, social media and gamify the learning process as much as you can;
- Offer knowledge that they can implement in their day-to-day life;
- Millennials love praise, because they like to feel good about themselves. However, give praise only if it’s deserved;
- Use humor;
- Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re more knowledgeable then they are. Chances are you don’t.
When engaged in the process and motivated, millennials can be very hard working, enthusiastic and purposeful. If a project is interesting for them, they will participate, if not – they will leave. Career games are nonsense for them because they have different values. Motivation by money alone won’t work for Millennials as it worked for previous generations.
Millennials are the force that can lead the world to better future, but this force needs training and self-awareness in order to become the best version of itself.
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