Empowered by Technology

Prasid here. This is a guest post by Erik Tomas Batallones, a Microsoft Student Partner at Fordham University. It’s also a cross-post from my blog over on www.Microsoft.com/Student. We recently asked our Student Partners to write about how Microsoft fits into a student’s life. I promised to showcase the winning blog entries as guest posts here. Once all the blog entries were submitted, we had our students vote for their favorite entry. Erik here won first place. You can check out Erik’s blog here.

Empowered by Technology

“I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.” – Bill Gates

Technology has become the lifeblood of the Millennials.Each person has a computer, a cell phone and an mp3 player that sync seamlessly.Utilizing the internet for research, shopping, socializing and various forms of entertainment since their early ages, Generation Y has evolved to depend on their tools and connectivity.My first computer ran on the Windows 98 OS.The effects of the system were so profound that to this day, I prefer using the “Classic Windows Theme.”Understandably, Millennials have also earned the title of “The Net Generation.”

At times, college students take the influence of technology for granted.However that changes the second an issue arises.Ever witness a freshmen drop a laptop and lose a 15 page paper?Or gaze at the desolate face of a junior who just lost their cell phone?Once fixed or returned, the moment simulates revisiting a long lost friend.Only then do they realize how integral machines are to daily tasks.
With each generation there is a driving force that takes civilization to a higher echelon.Homo sapiens had fire, the Renaissance had the printing press, and the Millennials have Microsoft.With each step of the technological evolution, Microsoft has been on the forefront pushing new advances, and Generation Y rides the wave.

Numerous students use smart phones synced with Outlook or that utilize a Microsoft OS.Anywhere in the world, they receive emails and keep connected to professors, family, and employers.A friend of mine once said, “If I didn’t have my email popped to my phone, I’d never return emails.”Students are career driven and always on the go.Some days, sitting down at a computer station to respond to emails is not time efficient.However, while waiting for a professor outside their office, a student does have time to check messages on their phone.

Microsoft programs are the business standard.A person places themselves at a disadvantage if not they are familiar with Office Suite.Every job description read for an internship will specifically state “Must be proficient with Word and Excel.”A good company will not hire a person who cannot write memos with these programs and organize spreadsheets.Word has become a standard for word processing even Mac users cannot deny.

The one program that has recently created a rouse is OneNote.By this time in their lives, college students type faster than they write.While many students like to use Word to take notes in class it is difficult to group similar topics.The cursor begins at the top of the page and works its way down.To create clusters of information you would have to cut and paste.For this reason, many people still stick with the traditional pen and paper.The introduction of OneNote has removed the need for a traditional notebook.Statements and facts can be easily moved throughout the page to organize ideas.Student also can have online meetings and adjust projects without being in the same room.

Business and work is not everything to a college student.Cultivating friendships plays a large role in everyday life.The Zune and Xbox live address the need to socialize.How many times have you heard a song from your friend’s playlist and could not remember the name?The Zune Social removes that issue completely by allowing people to view and exchange music.Not to mention the ability of the Zune itself to beam songs from device to device.A student can be at one institution and be playing Halo 3 with their friend across country.Live allows people to maintain relationships through constant contact.Before online play, friends would have to be next to each other to do a co-op.Now I do not have to worry if my teammate is in another state or country.

The “magic of software” has opened up many doors and possibilities.More importantly, software and hardware have become a necessity in life.People need to eat, sleep, drink and check email.My generation is privileged to grow up during a period where technology is prevalent.I could never imagine being in my grandparents’ current situation: the world is adapting to an electronic standard and my personal preference in word processing is a typewriter.Empowerment for Generation Y comes from the fact that we grew up understanding this electronic standard.Give a college student a typewriter and they will respond to you with a blank stare.Give a college student a computer and you will gaze at endless accomplishes originating from their boundless imaginations.

-Erik

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