High Schoolers Say MySpace could be Dead Space
August 7, 2007Comments (0)
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Facebook, instant messaging and text messaging may have surpassed MySpace as high schoolers’ preferred method of communication with friends and peers, according to an online survey and series of focus groups conducted by the Hillel Communications Department.
Screenshot of the Chai Wire eNewsletter.
Additionally, it was revealed that e-mail remains a valid and trusted form of communication for high schoolers, but is used primarily to communicate with people older than themselves.
“The way these students communicate to one another as well as others is constantly changing,” said Hillel Associate Vice President of Communications Jeff Rubin, “It is a trend that must be watched carefully because it will affect how we reach out to them before and after they get to campus.”
Hillel conducted four focus groups in June 2007 comprised of 41 Washington, D.C. and Baltimore-area Jewish high school juniors and seniors. The online survey was sent to 25,000 students and 568 responded.
The high school students also told Hillel that they base their college choice on first-hand visits rather than peer influence, college promotional literature, or even third-party guide books. “While visiting different schools, I picked up on things, like flyers advertising a concert I would want to go to, that I don’t think other people would have thought to mention on a tour,” said one female student. “You can’t get that sort of information from a guide book or a college Web site.”
The focus groups and poll were part of the evaluation of a Hillel program started in 2006 to reach out to high school students and provide resources for college applications and facilitate their transition to college.
The cornerstone of this effort has been the Chai Wire eNewsletter, a mix of college preparation advice, Judaism and pop-culture, which has been sent to more than 40,000 high school students each quarter.
“We know high school students decide how they will spend their college years even before they come to campus,” says Rubin. “Hillel is uniquely positioned to engage these students during this critical moment of their lives and increase the likelihood they will participate in Jewish life on campus.”
When asked about Chai Wire, students praised the inclusion of Reform Judaism Magazine’s Top 60 Schools Jews Choose and expressed interest in seeing more Jewish material in the eNewsletter, an indication they value their Jewish identity.
“The Jewish self-confidence of these students and their desire for more Jewish content is in accord with the findings of Hillel’s Strategic Planning Process,” says Rubin. “It indicates Hillel continues to be on the right track to fulfilling our mission to enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.”
The first edition of Chai Wire for the 2007-2008 school year will be issued in October.
For more information on Hillel’s high school outreach efforts please contact Aviva Perlman at firstname.lastname@example.org.