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Why Video Is the Cross-Generational Learning Powerhouse

Is your organization ready to support four generations of learners?

In today’s diverse workforce, organizations must satisfy a variety of learning styles that occur across generations. This may sound like a difficult task, but video can help. Video is an engaging learning platform that offers a simpler learning experience that’s more efficient than just reading text.

It also appeals to a wide group of people. From baby boomers to millennials, video content has captivated audiences for decades. Here’s why video is an important tool for training and developing employees across generations.

All Generations Are Streaming Videos Regularly

Video has proven itself to be a medium all generations regularly use and enjoy. Last year the average U.S. citizen watched more than 6 hours of online video content per week.

It may come as no surprise that the largest group of online video streamers are millennials. Globally, those aged 18–25 years old watched equal to that amount or more.

However, millennials aren’t the only ones streaming significant amounts of video content. The average 36–45 year old person watched more than 5 hours of online video content per week, and those aged 40–60 watched more than 4 hours per week.

The baby boomer generation streams videos, too. Those aged 60 years and older watched more than 3 hours of online video content per week, with 51 percent of baby boomers watching at least 1–2 hours per week.

Since different generations are already regularly streaming videos, imagine the capabilities video can engage when used as a training and development tool. Video learning allows organizations to support and scale their training and development programs, while offering learners the opportunity to easily share and navigate content at their own pace.

Today’s Workforce Grew Up Watching Videos

Even though today’s workforce grew up with clear generational differences, the majority has grown up with video in their homes and classrooms.

Here’s a look at each generations’ preferred learning style and how the technology of their time has impacted their learning.

Baby Boomers (mid 1940s–mid 1960s)

Baby boomers tend to prefer a more personal learning structure, favoring face-to-face contact, reflection, and consistent feedback to bring them directly into the process. This may be because baby boomers were raised without mobile devices, laptops, and tablets at their fingertips. Instead, they grew up at a time where radio and television were progressing. The new technologies captivated the generation, with educational videos making their way into classrooms as a learning tool.

Generation X (mid 1960s-mid 1980s)

The members of Generation X are reasonably tech-savvy, growing up with the emergence of the Internet, cell phones, and laptops. They tend to be independent and prefer flexibility when learning. When receiving feedback, Generation X wants to know how their progress makes a difference.

Millennials (mid 1980s–mid 1990s)

Since millennials—also known as Generation Y—grew up with the internet and social media, they prefer instant access to information and favor consistent feedback. Millennials also prefer flexibility in their learning process and prefer a collaborative approach to learning.

Generation Z (mid 1990s–early 2000s)

As a digital generation, technology is integrated into the daily lives of Generation Z. This generation expects instant and on-demand access to learning services, preferring interactive environments over traditional teaching methods. Video conferencing, social media, and online forums are examples of digital tools that play a part in Generation Z’s learning process.

Why Each Generation Benefits From Video Learning

Multiple generations are regularly viewing video content to some extent, which is why it’s an important learning tool. In fact, multiple generations are already using video to learn new things. This can include everything from online tutorials that teach viewers how to fix a leaky faucet, to product reviews that help consumers make smarter choices about which products to purchase.

Video offers a multifaceted approach to learning. Its on-demand access and flexibility to skip or pause through videos help satisfy the learning needs of millennials, Generation X, and members of Generation Z. At the same time, video can offer personalized, interactive capabilities—such as embedded quizzes with instant feedback—that the baby boomers generation often needs to learn and succeed.

Video is a cost-effective, quick, and engaging platform that can help train and develop the learning styles of different generations. How is your organization using video to ensure everyone’s needs are met?

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