It's a well-known fact that people learn differently. One individual might find visual stimulation important for learning, while another student might enjoy reading instead. This fact is just the beginning of the learning challenge. A new wave of students collectively known as Gen Z is joining the ranks with a brand new set of learning demands. Here are three ways to adapt your teaching to Gen Z’s habits
A recent study conducted by Time magazine found that members of gen Z (or Post-Millennials) have brains that are "wired differently". They are also drawn to technology and skills-based learning. With this rapidly changing landscape, traditional classroom settings and teaching styles are no longer acceptable.
Here are three ways you can adapt your teaching style to meet the expectations and learning needs of this up and coming group. Implementing these changes will create great content and examples for your next teacher cover letter and will show your ability to adapt with changing times.
Technology is extremely important to Generation Z. This generation grew up in an age where an individual is consumed by technology and inundated with the latest trends on a regular basis. A member of gen z may have had access to a cell phone or tablet at a very early age and grew up using one or more of these computerized devices. In fact, CBS recently reported that a member of generation z is four times more likely to say that 13 is an acceptable age for receiving a cell phone.
This generation has grown up in a time where information is at their fingertips constantly and this fact needs to be considered when it comes to new learning methods. It's anticipated that computerized methods of learning will continue to expand, and members of generation Z prefer this type of learning.
One way you can adapt to this preference is to incorporate online learning as much as possible in your course work. There are many learning management systems that will allow you to issue assignments, track progress, and engage with your students in an interactive forum. You should also consider the use of online video lectures. Science has found that members of this new tech-driven generation find it helpful to learn by this method and will retain more information when it comes from multiple sources.
Shake Up the Classroom Layout
Generation Z also needs quite a bit of social stimulation in the classroom. Today's educators need to become more comfortable with the social aspect of learning and ditch the long-time belief that kids should not speak up or be distracted by the social piece of the classroom. Today's youth needs to learn the importance of a face-to-face interaction, especially with the rampant and constant use of technology. Providing opportunities to socialize at school is a great first step for educators.
In addition, you'll want to consider changing up the layout of your classroom to facilitate more social engagement. Traditional classrooms were designed to keep the student's attention forward and limit outside distractions. Desks were set in rows facing forward so the facilitator could keep a watchful eye throughout the whole period. This traditional and formalized process no longer works as it fails to capture the attention of generation z students. Instead, consider re-configuring the desks in small groups and encourage peer interaction.
Teach Valuable Skills
Today's job market is more concerned with skills than education. Employers want to know that a candidate has the skills to complete the job. It's important that teachers recognize this trend and teach in a style that focuses on competency with job-related skills rather than a focus on a specific academic discipline.
You'll also want to coach your students to actively think about these skills and what they enjoy. Before choosing a vocation or degree, you'll want your students to have a clear idea of their long-term goals and make decisions based on this preface.
These are just a few of the many ways you can go about working with the new generation. If you find ways to incorporate these ideas into your teaching style and classroom, your students will be engaged and well-prepared for the world.
Addison Jenning currently works as an HR Manager and believes that one of the most important aspects of a fulfilling work environment is the relationship between coworkers. She considers that the same principle applies to the teacher-student relationship. Understanding a child's needs is a key ingredient to improving the education process and furthering their personal development.