Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tips for Teaching Millennials

If you are reading this blog post, chances are you are (a) teaching millennials (b) a parent of a millennial (c) a millennial. Whichever category you fall into, as an educator, we all want our students to look as eager as this child does in class.

Below are tips condensed from their original sources. Visit the links to the original sources to see the very helpful full details related to each tip listed below.

"7 Techniques for Teaching Generation Y Students"
(see full article at

Characteristic #1: They are technosavvy.

Don't talk down to them...In other words, you are a guide, a coach; you are not the Computer God in the classroom anymore.

Characteristic #2: They have short attention spans.

Keep it short and sweet...
Use relevant examples or you will lose them.

Characteristic #3: They filter data out quickly.

Make your topic introductions sizzle...Introduce your topics so compellingly that your GenY students cannot help but be interested.

Characteristic #4: They multitask very well.

Recommendation: Don't get offended at other activities... Doesn't necessarily mean that you've lost their attention.

Characteristic #5: They consume information quickly.

Recommendation: Keep up the pace... As long as you are presenting the material clearly, you can almost never go too quickly for your GenY students.

Characteristic #6: Information must apply directly to them or you will lose them.

Recommendation: Customize the presentation directly to students' needs...Ask students, "What is it that you are hoping to learn today?"

Characteristic (Challenge)#7: Teaching Generation Y and Mixed Groups

Use body language and other clues to balance mixed groups...Simply ask the group, "How is this pace for you?" Or, "Would you like to practice this concept?"

"Generation Y - The Millennial Generation"
from Generational Learning Styles by Julie Coates. Published by LERN Books, a division of Learning Resources Network (LERN), 2007.
(see full details at
  1. Develop opportunities for experiential learning.
  2. Encourage the development of learning communities.
  3. Provide lots of structure.
  4. Provide lots of feedback.
  5. Use technology.
  6. Make it fun.
  7. Incorporate games.
  8. Be relevant.
  9. Utilize their talents.
  10. Present the big picture.
  11. Allow for creativity and be creative.
  12. Offer multiple options for performance.
  13. Be visual. This group is the most visual of all learning cohorts.
  14. Be organized.
  15. Be smart.
  16. Be fair.
  17. Recognize the need for social interaction.
  18. Remember, talk is essential.
  19. Structure a learning environment that demands respect and positive reinforcement.
  20. Tie learning to actions.
  21. Think positively.
  22. Be clear and precise.
  23. Allow focus time.
  24. Talk is critical.
  25. Enhance procedural memory with movement.
  26. Make learning relevant.