Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Millennial Profile: Millennial Survey

            For several years, the Pew Research Center has collected and analyzed data regarding technology use by generation. Based on trends they have detected throughout the years, they have developed a quiz, called the Millennial quiz, that allows you to determine how up to speed you are in relation to the newest Millennial generation. After taking the quiz, you are given a score which places you on a generational continuum from Silent to Millennial. There are points along the continuum that inform quiz takers about the typical member each generation scores. The higher the score received, the closer one compares to the Millennial Generation.
            What is the Millennial Generation? Individuals born after 1980 are members of the Millennial Generation. These individuals were the first to come of age in the new millennium. This generation is an example of one identified and named for a major turn in the calendar. Other generations identify individuals living through a historic event or rapid social or demographic change. Individuals born between 1965 and 1980 are members of Generation X who are known classified as savvy, entrepreneurial loners. Individuals born between 1946 and 1964 are members of the Baby Boomer generation. This time period marks the end of World War II and placement of birth control on the market. The birth rate was very high during this time. Lastly, the Pew Research Center talks about the Silent generation. Individuals born between 1928 and 1925 were children of the Great Depression and are members of the Silent Generation.
What I Did
            I took the online quiz and received a score of 66. Although I am a member of the Millennial Generation, I am seven points away from identifying with the typical member of the Millennial Generation, according to the quiz. With a score of 66, the quiz suggests that I have more in common with some members of Generation X. After taking the quiz I checked out a page that showed me how my answers affected my score. I found that by simply changing my answer to the question, “Is being successful in a high-paying career or profession important to you?” from, “no,” to, “somewhat,” I went from identifying with Generation X individuals to identifying significantly with individuals of the Millennial generation. The opposite was true when I changed my answer to the question, “Thinking about you telephone use, do you only have a landline, only a cell phone, or both?” from, “only a cell phone,” to “both.” Then, I had my mother take the survey. Although she is one of the latest members of the Baby Boomer Generation, she received a score of 45, suggesting that she identifies well with some members of Generation X.

            I believe that my score suggests that while I have some more modern social views, and use newer technologies a fair amount, I treasure some aspects of the past. I believe that this will have a slight impact upon my classroom as I will be hesitant to adapt lessons for use with even newer technologies and I will have to work harder to appreciate some of the things my young students are interested in (ex. not T.V. shows but video games). Being able to motivate students to learn through their interest, whether they are scholarly or not, is very important. While I do not believe that my Millennial profile score suggests that my students learning will be impacted negatively, I do believe that my age and therefore, my practices and attitudes will influence what I do in the classroom to encourage learning. By comparing my score with my mom’s score, I would say that older individuals of one generation are very likely to adapt to, find enjoyment in, use, and associate with more modern elements and ideals of the 20th and 21st centuries. Your membership in an older generation does not mean that you do not have an interest or use for cell phones over landlines.
What I Learned
            After taking the quiz I read an article entitled, “The Information Age Midset:Changes in Students and Implications for Higher Education”  by Jason L. Frand. In this article, Frand gives insight to the ten values and behaviors he believes makes up the modern, “information-age mindset.” They are as follows:
  1. Computers Aren’t Technology
    • Technology is the stuff that has developed since your birth.
  2. Internet is Better than T.V.
    • People are spending more time on the internet than watching T.V. because the internet offers a variety of tools and information.
  3. Reality no Longer Real
    • Is what you read, see, and hear, reliable and credible information?
  4. Doing Rather than Knowing
    • Information is changing all the time, it is more important that you have particular skills in a field than for you to have knowledge about the field.
  5. Nintendo over Logic
    • Trial an error is chosen more often over using the experimental stage of the scientific method.
  6. Multitasking way of Life
    • Information (from T.V, web, videos, images) is a mile wide and an inch deep. We can access information quickly and effortlessly by jumping from one tool to the next (ex. surfing the internet).
  7. Typing rather than Handwritting
    • There are still occasions when handwritting is considered most appropriate, yet typing is what we do the majority of the time as it is the most efficient and effective.
  8. Staying Connected
    • The greater number of people involved, the more valuable the form of communication.
  9. Zero Tolerance for Delays
    • People expect everything to happen in real time.
  10. Consumer/creator blurring
    • The distinction between the owner, the creator, and the user of information is blurred.
Where I am in Terms of Frand’s Constructs
1.      I disagree. I believe technology encompasses many things and that it is not defined personally defined.
2.      By fiancé would agree with this because he watches Netflix on his computer which is hooked up to his T.V. however, I would have to disagree at this time. Personally, my internet is slow and doesn’t always work and using it means that I must be active (using the mouse, clicking, scrolling, reading, etc.). Therefore, I like to watch T.V. because I can usually find something interesting to watch and it only requires pushing a few buttons; it is the ultimate form of laziness!
3.      I agree that it can be very difficult to know that information is reliable and credible these days. People using technology are easily able to steal and manipulate information or to make claims that are not true. It can be difficult to track information back to its original source in order to identify whether it is legitimate.
4.      I agree that it is becoming more pertinent for individuals to build their skill sets than to simply work to gain information. For instance, I have spent five years in college to learn about technologies and practices used in education. In that time, many of these things have become outdated. My experiences in the schools have better helped me to gain the skills I will need in my ever changing field.
5.      I agree with this because I generally choose to tackle new projects without reading manuals or directions. I have confidence in my ability to accomplish something using prior knowledge and critical thinking and will try to employ these before relying on something that will give the answer away.
6.      I agree that it is becoming difficult to accomplish a task without jumping between multiple sources.
7.      I agree that typing is more efficient and effective than handwriting but I am not opposed to handwriting something to add a personal touch.
8.      I agree with this. One person can only have so many friends however, those friends have friends and eventually, networking can occur. This is made more profound when communication technologies are involved.
9.      I agree with this to some extent. I feel more pressure than ever to make myself available through text, email, and social networks and to speak to people through these methods frequently and with urgency. However, I am not in the practice of doing so.
10.  I agree with this. A few years ago I would not have guessed that today, I would have published information to the internet. For example, I now not only read blogs, but I have created blogs and own intellectual property in blogs.
Can the lack of an information age mindset be spell doom for us?
            This is a heavy question and I think it depends. I believe that some aspects of the information age mindset are more vital than others to the functioning of business/the economy, professionals in the work force, and students in school. For instance I think the, “doing rather than knowing,” mindset can positively impact the face college education in coming years. Also, the, “zero tolerance for delays,” mindset is beginning to greatly influence business and the economy, if individuals and companies do not get on board, much of society may be negatively impacted. Therefore, in some cases, a lack of an information age mindset may mean that many institutions and individuals get dragged down. But, would it spell doom? I don’t think so, at least not yet.

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