NeoMillennial Learning styles


The premise of the paper is this – that given the exposure to media a new or neomillennial learning style is emerging based around ICT technologies.
The exposure to new technologies is detailed in this comment in the paper by Dieterle,Dede & Schrier

During their formative years, millennials –– the cohort born after 1982 –– have had unprecedented access to a broad range of media in the United States (Roberts et al., 2005) and abroad. Especially profound are their gains in access to interactive media (e.g., video game consoles, computers) and information and communication technologies (e.g., instant messenger). Pervasive availability of interactive media has helped contribute to nearly 9 in 10 U.S. Teens regularly accessing the Internet and more than half going online daily (Lenhart et al., 2005). More interesting than access is what millennials do once they go online. Of those who access the Internet, 4 in 5 play online games, 3 in 4 gather news, and just under 1 in 3 seek out health information (Lenhart et al., 2005). Besides consuming information, nearly 3 in 5 U.S. Teenagers contribute to the content of the Internet by creating blogs and web pages; posting original artwork, stories, and photos; and remixing existent content in novel ways (Lenhart & Madden, 2005).”

Traditional Model

The traditional model of cognitive, aptitude and sensory learning looks is widely accepted and used in industry and education. It looks at:
  1. Which senses the student's like to use to learn (this changes from learning environment and situation) – VARK is an example.
  2. The Student's aptitude - this uses Gardner's Multiple Intelligences.
  3. The Student's personality type – In this paper they identify the Myers-Briggs personality types and the interaction between the 4 main areas of the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Index)
  • Extrovert vs introvert
  • Sensing vs intuition
  • thinking vs feeling
  • Judgement vs perception

Neomillennial Model

They, Dieterle, Dede and Schrier, propose adding a media based or mediated learning style, the “NeoMillennial learning style” which results from new technologies, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, the vast volumes of information constantly developed and propagated; and the collaborative nature of the emerging technologies.

3 Key areas

Specifically, Dieterle,Dede & Schrier indicate that the media based lifestyles have led to the following:
“1. Fluency in multiple media, valuing each for the types of communication, activities, experiences, and expressions it empowers.
2. Learning based on collectively, seeking, sieving, and synthesizing experiences rather than individually locating and absorbing information from a single best source.
3. Active learning based on both real and simulated experiences that includes frequent opportunities for reflection.”
They have fully developed sections on each of these which I would encourage you to look at.


This article strikes an number of chords with me.
  1. The collaborative aspects of this new learning style. This could be reflected in the students personality type or aptitude, but I do not feel they are done justice. It is, I believe beyond the bounds and focus of MBTI
  2. We, as educators, need to recognise the impact of these emerging technologies. For some teachers, recognising the technologies and then there potential value is a great start, but the ubiquitous (anytime, anywhere) nature of communication, collaboration and information greatly impacts on how our “digital natives” or “millennial students” learn, communicate and spend their recreational time. This immediacy, the instant nature of modern communications and information access is immensely powerful, and alters how students look at the world, it taints and changes there outlook and view. Do any of the models cover this?
  3. As we prepare our students for the ever changing world and the mass of information that they are creating now and will create in the future, we try to equip them with the tools and processes to sort, filter, validate & discard, contrast & compare, summarise and arrange the data. Do the existing models effectively address these aspects?

There is huge range for debate. I find this paper interesting and exciting, its is a breath of fresh air. As to whether it will be accepted, that is a different matter, but I believe there are elements here that are applicable and very very usable.

At the TUANZ conference earlier this year in Rotorua, I said that if there was a “multimedia” learning style, that would be my preferred style. The comment was glib, but has turned out to be closer to the truth than I had anticipated.

Digital Students@analog Schools - video