Higher Ed Needs to Bridge the ‘App Gap’ to Reach Students
By Gordon Freedman Nov 29, 2018
Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) or Gen Z (born after 1996)
Today’s youth culture lives in apps—not for the sake of the technology itself, but for the rich social, psychological identity-driven mash-up that define a person, group, interactions and opinions.
When a Millennial or Gen Z-er accesses a new consumer app, it is as simple as opening the morning newspaper is for their parents or grandparents. However, when the same people look at a college schedule, fill out paperwork or an online form, access or save records that they may need later, and, eventually, try to conjure it all at the end of this process, they are stopped in their tracks.
Building a Brand, User Testing Apps, Social Media Marketing
By contrast, when brands and memes compete on social media, young people pay attention.
Without those social signals as well as continual feedback from their friends and influencers— what the younger generations rely on for context—they are likely on very different wavelengths from the colleges who want them to attend and stay, training and outreach opportunities vying for their attention, and employers who need reliable entry hires.
Each generational shift suffers a cultural communication schism, noticeable at home and in school, that in the past was navigable by the time young people focused on college or career training, or entered the workforce. Today, this is not happening.
The gap between the traditional practices and the social and consumer app world is serious. Simply creating app-like technology to mimic older processes is not the answer.
Equity is more than creating more organizational programs or developing more ineffective websites without adequate measures for engaging and empowering young people who need support.