Do Teaching Methods Need to Change to Address Generation M2 Effectively?

JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, November-December 2010 | Go to article overview

Do Teaching Methods Need to Change to Address Generation M2 Effectively?


Absolutely. Teaching methods must be dynamic to mirror changes in students over time. If we do not tune into the millennial generation in terms of the best ways to promote physical activity, we risk becoming irrelevant and obsolete. Take a few examples. They love Facebook. Why not create a page for a physical education program, organize intramural events with Facebook or Twitter, and show pictures online of involved kids having fun. Millennials are also interested in exergaming, and the Nintendo Wii is only the beginning. The current generation of Microsoft's Xbox doesn't even need a controller and can sense movements simply by scanning the room. The millennial generation is also accustomed to choice. How many high school or middle school programs lock students into taking only activities offered by their assigned teacher? Instead, provide a true elective program that capitalizes on student interests. Finally, offer new physical activity trends such Zumba or longboarding. This enhances our "cool" factor while also providing another physical activity option for students. We all know what happened to the dinosaurs; let's choose a different path and adapt our teaching methods to our students.

--Matthew Cummiskey, assistant professor. Department of Kinesiology, West Chester University, West Chester, PA.

Teaching methods should change to address Generation M2 effectively. These students (8-18 years old) spend approximately 7.5 hours a day using media--and if you take into account the multitasking taking place, the time spent is closer to 11 hours per day--according to a national study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. If teaching methods do not change, how will these students be reached.

In physical education there are many types of media available: Wii, DVDs, and HOPSorts just to name a few. Teachers can also create web pages to motivate, encourage, and assist students. Another way to engage students is to have them create their own videos. I believe teachers must do what they can to keep their students' attention. The main problem is that media can be expensive. However, we must use the resources we do have to reach students.

--Barbi Hopkins, student, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.

Generation M2 students lack creativity, innovativeness, appreciation for nature, social skills, and the ability to play spontaneously. M2 students prefer the indoors, and they are involved in numerous organized activities. The Kaiser Family Foundation discovered that M2 students spend 458 minutes a day looking at screens. Excessive screen time contributes to the maladies of M2 students. Teaching methodologies should be reconsidered to address the needs of M2 students.

Einstein said, "You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that caused the problem." Therefore, including more student-centered lessons and outdoor lessons involving problem solving and nature appreciation addresses the maladies of Generation M2.To make a difference with Generation M2, we need affective goals concerning personal and social responsibilities, which require the vital component of a solid teacher-student relationship.

Cautious integration of harmless technologies that relate to students' lives is desirable. Data collection software like Fitness Reporter Pro and digital images for demonstrations or set inductions can motivate without excessive screen time. …

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