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Alumni e-Networks: Using Technology to Engage Net Generation Alumni

By Holly Peterson


If I want to find my college or study abroad classmates, what do I do? I don't call them or write them letters. I log into my email, type their names (not their email addresses—the technology does that for me) into the address line of a [blank] email message and send it off. Usually it's less than four lines, and often it includes a smiley: somewhere in the message. Does this mean I have less meaningful, in-depth conversation with my friends than if I wrote them a letter or called them? Maybe. But it means that I keep in touch with friends I would have long lost were it not for the ease of communication. And I'm not even a member of the millenium generation. (Peterson and Roberts 2006, ¶1) As educators and their institutions ponder the effect of technology on their ability to teach the Net Generation, they must also examine how technology changes the ways in which they interact with other constituents, including alumni. This article examines one organization's use of technology to reach alumni by presenting a case study of how World Learning is strengthening alumni relationships via Web-based technologies. These efforts have been especially targeted towards younger, Net Generation alumni, whom the organization had the hardest time engaging. These are new alumni, almost all of whom are under 25, who use Internet technologies frequently, if not invariably, for communication

Year: 2011
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