Posted by Christy Williams on April 5th, 2016
Every generation wields its own name and defining characteristics. The latest conversations have been dominated by talks on Millennials – how to reach them, how to teach them, how to work with them. But what about the generation behind them? Generation Z. Generation Z is the next emerging generation, comprised of current tweens (10-12) and teens. With each new generation, new characteristics, expectations and best teaching practices emerge. Understanding the changes will help craft the approach for working with Generation Z both in the classroom and workplace.
Characteristics of Generation Z
Generation Z has been described as social, technological, global and visual. Their extensive global reach is fueled by internet and social media. Technology makes it possible for Generation Z to be constantly connected. Growing through recession, terrorism, climate change and other life complexities, Generation Z is also sometimes considered to be more conscientious and cynical than previous generations.
Future Expectations of Generation Z
Like the Millennials before them, Generation Z is a technologically advanced generation. They are also considered to be avid multi-taskers with entrepreneurial spirits and loyal demeanors. As a result of their connected nature and previous experiences, you can expect Generation Z to be major contributors to economic and social renewal moving forward. Generation Z’s conscientious, hard-working nature will be propelled by their mindfulness of the future.
Ways to Teach Generation Z
As with each generation, the environment and current exposure shapes the way students learn. Understanding how they process information and motivational factors will be key in successfully teaching Generation Z. Some considerations in teaching Generation Z include:
- Use graphics. Generation Z is able to process highly complex graphics better than previous generations.
- Embrace the use of technology. Many of Generation Z are very digital where as traditional teaching is more analog.
- Consider speed of access. Generation Z is wired for fast delivery and processing of data and content. Generation Z may be more apt to go for quick answer rather than longer problem solving.
- Provide clear, constant feedback, goals, and rewards.
- Utilize collaboration. The connected nature of Generation Z makes them more team-oriented.
- Encourage educational freedom. Generation Z likes to have random access to information.
- Use problem-based, active learning models.
- Provide customized education options. Generation Z is used to customizing their data and many other aspects of their lives.Remember Generation Z has grown in a world in which hacks/cheats are considered accomplishments and signs of brilliance.
- Remain flexible.
Generation Z will bring a dynamic attitude to the world around them, even more than their Millennial predecessors. It will take a dynamic approach to best reach these learners. As each generation changes, the access and delivery of learning should adapt to meet their needs. Remaining flexible and in touch with the changes will contribute greatly to the success of instructors.