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Tackling ‘Generation Me’

Faculty from across the state and Arizona will gather at Palomar College for a conference to better adapt to the changing demands in education for the “me generation,” Millennials.

The fourth annual Active Learning Leader’s conference will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29 in the Student Union. Palomar faculty work together to host the conference for innovative educators who are interested in creating an active learning environment in their own classrooms. Active learning occurs when students participate in class within a group setting where students are more inclined to engage with class material.

Professor Al Trujillo had the idea for the conference and works along side his co-organizer, Professor Kelly Falcone. “The idea is to give teachers a safety net of activities and techniques that they can use in their classes as well as how to facilitate them effectively,” said Trujillo.

“I don’t know of any other faculty- driven workshop like this anywhere in the United States,” Trujillo said. “Where faculty said, we want to help other instructors do active learning in their classrooms.”

The conference begins with a keynote speaker. This year’s speaker is Jean Twenge, San Diego State University psychology professor and author of “Generation Me.”

Twenge said through e-mail that “Generation Me” gathered data from 11 million adolescents and compared it between Millennials and individuals within the the same age range in the two preceding generations; Generation X and the Baby Boomers.

Trujillo found Twenge from an online blog and when discovered she was a San Diego local and her book was about Millenials he thought, “she’s going to be great.”

“Most of us teachers are older and it can be hard to relate to the younger generation, but this will help us understand who we have in our classrooms,” Trujillo said.

Twenge said that Millennials prefer an educational environment that offers interactive activities and material that is relevant to their lives and classroom subject matter.

“Millennials reflect the cultural changes that have happened over the last few decades including more focus on the self and less on social rules,” Twenge said.

Twenge’s keynote session will focus on how students have higher self value rather than social standards and there are several breakout sessions that strictly focus on “Brain-Based Learning & Self-Awareness.”

After the interactive keynote session, the conference then goes into what they call breakout sessions that are shorter and consist of 20 different group-based workshops where faculty participate as if they’re students.

One breakout session happening at the conference is called “Station Station.” It is a new way of covering the first day syllabus that all teachers have to give. “You break off your syllabus into digestible chunks and each one is a station,” said Trujillo. “Students move around the room from station to station and instead of me telling them what the policies are, they discover them on their own.”

Teachers take away a toolbox of how to teach their subjects in an active and engaging way.

“We want to give them the tools to teach anything in any subject whether it be sociology, anatomy, or nutrition, it doesn’t matter,” said Trujillo.

The conference runs Oct. 29 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Union and free parking is provided in Parking Lot 1. For additional information contact organizer Al Trujillo at (760) 744-1150 ext. 2734. To register online visit all2016.brownpapertickets.com

 

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