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Millennial, Gen X and Boomer Parents:

Leveraging mobile-enabled social media for school-to-home communications across the generations.

Report CoverSince 2007, Project Tomorrow has collaborated with Blackboard to create a series of annual reports that focus on year-to-year trends in the use of digital learning tools to change the classroom-learning paradigm through an in-depth analysis of the latest Speak Up data findings. This year’s community engagement report, part of the ongoing series of collaborations between Project Tomorrow® and Blackboard, focuses on the role of mobile and social communications from the perspective of parents and other education guardians of different generations. Leveraging new research data collected by Project Tomorrow through our annual Speak Up Research Project, our goal with this year’s report is to increase education leaders’ awareness of the views of key stakeholders regarding communications strategies and to stimulate new local discussions about how to best serve the needs of your entire community. To serve that objective, the report includes the results of a special analysis of the views of over 20,000 parents from schools and districts throughout the United States, and a set of thought-provoking questions that can be used to jumpstart new conversations about communications and engagement strategies.

The overall finding from this year’s landmark report is that parent’s preferences for school-to-home communications vary by message, by tool and by generation, and thus, it is increasingly important for school and district leaders to appreciate this differentiation when communicating and engaging with their parent community.

Key Findings include:

  • While parent access to a smartphone is now virtually universal (97% of parents of school-aged children), use of emerging tools such as a smartwatch by one-quarter of Millennial parents indicate that school districts need to re-think their communications across different platforms to accommodate new tools.
  • As educators think about how to engage with parents via social media, it is advisable to look beyond Facebook or any single social media platform to meet the diverse needs of all parents in your community. For example, one-third of Millennial parents report using Instagram regularly in their personal lives but only 12% of Baby Boomer parents say the same.
  • The differentiation by message type is also important for parents. While 63% say that Facebook is a good tool for the dissemination of generalized information about school events or recognitions, only one-quarter of parents believe it is an effective tool for crisis communications.


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Blackboard blog

Watch our Webinar

Communicating by Generation: Boomer, GenX, and Millennial Parent Preferences

September 10, 2019

Presented by Dr. Dr. Julie A.Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Project Tomorrow

Sponsored by Blackboard

photoFollowing trends observed in the consumer marketplace, three-quarters (77%) of schools and districts are now leveraging mobile-enabled, social media tools for their school-to-home communications.

A complicating factor in the rollout of mobile apps and social media for communications is the existence of multiple generations within a district’s parent community including Baby Boomer, Gen X and Millennial parents as well as increasingly grandparents as education guardians. This reality has significant implications for school districts as they envision, create and implement new strategies for engaging with parents.

In this webinar we will share results from a new report based upon the views of over 20,000 parents nationwide spanning Millennials to Baby Boomers about their preferences for engaging with their child’s teacher, hearing about school news and receiving crisis or alert communications. From texting to Facebook posts, what really works for today’s parents in terms of school to home communications?

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