Digital Natives and Perceived Technology Skills: Bridging the Digital Divide between Natives

Over the past few decades, the importance of technology has risen significantly in the workplace. Young graduates are hired with the expectation that their technology skills exceed those of the preceding generations. Previous research has shown that there are generational gaps between employer expectations and the real skills of young graduates which have led to dissatisfaction and misunderstanding. One of these generational gaps consists of perceived technological skills. In fact, Millennials, also known as digital natives, are not as technologically-savvy as employers are led to believe. While these digital natives have grown up with technology, their use is rudiment at best. The results from this study derive from a quantitative survey distributed to first year students at an international hospitality school in Switzerland. Students rated their comfortability with eight specific IT tasks and were also asked to allocate a percentage out of 100 to five areas recruiters seek from new employees: people-savvy, tech-savvy, loyalty, fun-loving, and hard-working. The results showed that international Millennials rate their comfortability with technology much lower than Millennials in similar studies conducted with American students. This study examines how Millennials perceive their technology skill gaps and what can be done to bridge this gap in the workplace.

Persuading the Masses to Participate in a Rally: A Study of Media Photographs

A recent study indicated that media bias could be found when the theory of social proof is applied to photographic coverage of a social movement. This study sought to understand if individuals would act on the biased media photographs and take part in the social movement. Results showed no statistical support. However, results revealed that respondents found the elements of social proof highly memorable when extended through the biased media photographs. Practical implications for issue advocates and public relations practitioners are discussed.

“Socially-Mediated” Texts in the Classroom: A Study of Undergraduate Students Analyzing Social Media

Social media use is pervasive, especially among college students. When it comes to integrating social media in the classroom, some instructors may be hesitant on how to achieve such a goal. This study reports the results of undergraduate students’ experiences creating socially-mediated texts, assignments that integrate text with social media examples as support. Students completed a research-based text, one that examined a third party’s use of social media, and a metacognitive one, where students examined their own participation on Twitter. The assignments then were analyzed for word count and number/types of social media examples used. Additionally, students completed a survey that gathered their feedback and attitudes about each of the assignments. Findings indicated that students created longer research-based texts than metacognitive ones. They further reported positive experiences creating both texts, expressed critical judgements as to the value of information from different types of social media platforms, and recognized the value of the metacognitive approach in terms of understanding their own learning process.