The Fifth Sense: How to use tech in student organizations

“Given a list of things (including cosmetics, their car, their passport, their phone and their sense of smell) and told they could only have two 53% of those aged 16-22 would give up their own sense of smell if it meant they could keep an item of technology (most often their phone or laptop). ”

That surprising statistic is from the McCann Worldgroup recent survey goes to show you just how ingrained technology is to this generation of young people.

But why has it become so pervasive that over half of all youth would give up one of their human sense? Technology represents an infinite amount of friends, an infinite amount of knowledge and all the entertainment you could desire. It goes way beyond a simple tool, is a fifth sense.

Youth see technology completely different then older generations. For older generations they view technology as Legos, (how can I use this? How does this fit together?) while this generation views technology as Play-doh, (what do I want to do? Where can my imagination take me?)

Student organizations need to take that into consideration. Find ways to incorporate technology into all aspects of the organization. Give your students the freedom to do what they do best use tech to create something amazing.

  • Incorporate tech into the daily work of your organization and provide students with access to it
  • Tell them general goals. Give them a framework but don’t tie them down. Provide them guidance like, “We want to create a project where our students can go out into the community and serve. We want to break down the barrier between our community and the students here at school.”
  • Let them wow. Once you given them a few guideline and access to the tools, step back and let them go to work. Yes, you might have to provide guidance and be a resource but resist the urge to steer the project in the direction you want. Let go of the rains. Will they let you down, occasionally but those are good teaching moments. More often you will be blown away with the result. Youth Speaker Wisconsin

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