Virtual Recruitment in the Age of Zoom Fatigue
Michigan Technological University
Lemons. So far 2020 has fed us nothing but lemons.
As I look at my calendar, it is one virtual meeting after another. On one hand, I am excited to see a smiling face. On the other, I am trying to stay focused and not look uncomfortable in my chair. Being regional for the majority of my 17 years in this profession, working remotely is my norm. However, THIS is NOT my norm. Most of my time typically is spent engaging with students in their high schools, at college fairs, and at receptions or collaborating with my IACAC colleagues at some in-person meeting or another.
Today, I started really diving into what I think my fall recruitment should look like, and let me tell you…I can’t believe how many virtual meetings I ALREADY have in my calendar! It made me start to think about all the students we will be working with this fall. With many high schools opting for some type of virtual or hybrid option, the students must also be feeling this same virtual meeting overwhelm.
That leads to my QOTD: How do we engage high school students in a world they already are tired of?
In Silicon Valley, a group of tech employees created a non-profit organization called Digital Responsibility. It is geared towards informing young people about the personal and public consequences of technology. They believe that although technology is part of our daily lives, we still have an obligation to use it and share it responsibly.
“Recent studies have proven that technology can have a large impact on users’ mental and physical health. Being overly connected can cause psychological issues such as distraction, narcissism, expectation of instant gratification, and even depression. Besides affecting users’ mental health, use of technology can also have negative repercussions on physical health causing vision problems, hearing loss, and neck strain.”
So how do we uphold this tech responsibility in our upside down world where everything is depending on us being virtual?
We make a pact: Let’s make this the year of less is more.
Make our virtual presentations no more than 15 minutes plus questions. Collaborate with others so students can get more from one event. Don’t give the same boring speech day after day after day after day. Get creative. Throw out the text heavy slides circa 1990. Use more pictures. Tell more stories. Ask more questions. Make every interaction count. Expectations of endless virtual visits are not only bad for our students’ sanity, but also for ours. Let’s work together to keep things as simple as possible.