Millenials – The Next Normal

Why do current teenagers and school leavers think the way they do?  What is their view of the world? What factors shape the way they see the future for themselves? What are the main things they would like to change about the world? How do they see themselves? What makes them happy?

Kirsty Bloore, Research Director at Viacom International Media Networks: Australia & NZ, presented the findings of The Next Normal, at the University of Sydney’s Career Advisers and Teachers’ Conference in March 2013. This was a global survey of ‘millennials’ (those born between 1982 and 2004), including factors affecting this generation and how millennials see the world and relationships.

Millennials are different to other generations, in that they are the first generation to have never know life without  technology and being socially connected online. This research shows that the defining characteristic of millennials is that they are happy – happiness outweighs stress, and being successful makes them happy. Being part of a loving family is also important and happiness includes spending time with their families.

They have a love-hate relationship with Facebook – they recognise they are addicted to it but can’t live without it. It is important to them to be heard – they like to have a voice on the internet.

National pride is growing, and while they think maintaining local traditions is important, they also think it’s important to be open to people from other countries. tolerant, accepting and embracing the world.  87% consider themselves to be tolerant. They are curious about the world, enjoy sharing and connecting, and the ability to change. A defining characteristic is that they are more WE than ME.


Wikipedia – Yes or No?

See this and more information about Wikipedia at our BGS Online Reference Centre LibGuide.

There is a difference of opinion amongst educators these days as to whether or not Wikipedia is a valid source of information for student research. Some argue that lots of people contributing to the sum of what is known and understood about a topic makes it more valid.  It is also a useful source of information for breaking news stories (as the image here indicates).  However, the constantly changing nature of Wikipedia – one of its strengths – is also a weakness when it comes to research, as students may not realise at which point in time the information presented is accurate and reliable.

As teacher librarians, we advise students to refer to Wikipedia, if they wish to, for a general overview of a topic, but to actually source their information from other more reliable sources – such as our academic databases and online encyclopedia.

Many students still seem to think that Wikipedia is a reliable and credible source of information – despite the fact that they have probably added information to it themselves!  Below are some thought-provoking reasons from Mark Moran of findingDulcinea as to why they should not use Wikipedia for their assignments.

10 good reasons why you should never trust Wikipedia as an accurate source of information:

10. You must never fully rely on any one source for important information

9. You especially can’t rely on something when you don’t even know who wrote it

8.  The contributor with an agenda often prevails

7. Individuals with agendas sometimes have significant editing authority

6. Sometimes “vandals” create malicious entries that go uncorrected for month

5. There is little diversity among editors

4. The number of active Wikipedia editors has flat-lined

3. It has become harder for casual participants to contribute

2. Accurate contributors can be silenced

And the number one reason:

1. It says so on Wikipedia

“Wikipedia says, “We do not expect you to trust us.” It adds that it is “not a primary source” and that “because some articles may contain errors,” you should “not use Wikipedia to make critical decisions.”

Furthermore, Wikipedia notes in its “About” section, “Users should be aware that not all articles are of encyclopedic quality from the start: they may contain false or debatable information.”

Read more details about each of these reasons, including good examples, at: