Last year doing my PIDP I was stunned to realize that I am a millennial. Yes like most of working force out there I was talking about “them” negatively. They think the world is oh to them; they are lazy, don’t know the value of real work and just want to have fun.
Pushing my research, I realized that I do belong to the millennial group to a certain extent as I mention in my blog post The Generation Challenge. Pushing further and with time I actually define myself as a xennial, yes it is a think define as: a microgeneration in the workplace by Melissa Kempf Taylor.
Most of my learners are millennials witch is excellent as it allows me to stay comfortable in my own bias. They relate easily to my reference, comparison and the technology that I use in class.
Like I mentioned in my previous post this is what I need to consider teaching to different generations.
Like Dr. Bruce Johnson said ” There are three aspects to take into consideration when working with students who are from a different generation than your own: their values, communication style, and preference for interactions.
1. Values: If you understand what someone else values, you may be able to find a way of relating to them. The following is a list of common values for the three generational types you are likely to encounter in your class:
• Baby boomers: they are often competitive, hard workers, and prefer teamwork.
• Generation X: they prefer independence and creativity, seek quality of work life, and need constant feedback.
• Millennials or Generation Y: their values include money, technology, diversity, and autonomy.
2. Communication Style: According to The Challenge of Teaching Across Generations (Faculty Focus, p. 15), different cultural references and language usage can be obstacles. What this means is that we often make generation-specific references in our communication and we may use language specific to that generation. For example, millennials may utilize the abbreviated text messaging language when posting messages in the classroom. In order to work together, a common language needs to be used.
3. Preferred types of interactions. The following is a list of interactive styles for each generation, as noted by Texas Tech University:
• Traditionalists prefer individual interactions.
• Baby Boomers consider themselves team players and enjoy meetings.
• Generation X have an entrepreneurial spirit and like to network.
• Millennials or Generation Y are participative in nature.”
What I like about Johnson 3 aspects is the assumption we can make teachers when building curriculum or delivering to specific generations.
“In a class where different generations are represented, transformational learning can take place” (Johnson). I got the chance to experience online learning with a different generation partner for one assignment as a student myself. I need to reflex on the experience, but one thing that I know is that I have a lesson to take out of this experience. I was not in my comfort zone, and a face challenges that I do not recall getting before.
I believe that the best way to overcome challenges whit different generation is to ensure that we touch preference way of learning of every single one of them.
- Bruce Johnson. When Generations Collide: Generational Differences in the Online Classroom. Retrieved January 24, 2018, from http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com/2012/01/31/when-generations-collide-generational-differences-in-the-online-classroom/
- Home. (n.d.). Retrieved January 24, 2018, from https://www.robertson-associates.eu/
- Generational Diversity in the Workplace. (n.d.). Retrieved January 24, 2018, from http://daverocker.org/generational-diversity-in-the-workplace/
- Melissa Kempf Taylor, (2018) “Xennials: a microgeneration in the workplace”, Industrial and Commercial Training, https://doi.org/10.1108/ICT-08-2017-0065