As generations go, the latest - referred to as Generation Z - has completely revolutionised learning styles as we know them. This generation, born between 1995-2009, comprise of children who are true digital natives. Children who epitomise the definition ‘tech-savvy’. Children who don’t use technology as a tool but as a way of life.
As a teacher in this day and age, have you considered how you are going to set up your classroom to engage children who might own a laptop or a tablet that is far more superior to the one in your room? Do you know the latest and greatest apps or educational games that are going to engage and excite your learners?
In this article we explore three Gen Z learning styles and how you might cater to them in your classroom.
Gen Z learning style #1: They are multimodal learners
These learners need to be engaged through multiple learning channels where information can be delivered in a variety ways. Given that Gen Z are accessing information through a mix of channels at home (think reading online, watching television, talking via Skype, writing in text messages, listening to podcasts) these channels quickly come expected and second nature and need to be available in the classroom.
Considering these modes of learning and communicating and providing rich lesson plans will help learners engage in the digital world around them.
Gen Z learning style #2: No spoon-feeding required
Gone are the days where a classroom enclosed children from the outside world and where they turned all their attention to a teacher standing and delivering lessons. Gen Z children need to feel, hear, see, touch, and experience their lessons, all of which can be enhanced through the use of technology.
Spoon feeding dry facts and information only results in parroted learning that doesn’t reflect the world that Gen Z children are seeing and experiencing around them. If these children want to know something they hop online and find out what they need to know in an instant.
Gen Z learning style #3: Too much information, not enough evaluation
Having access to all this information at a touch of a search button is great for our Gen Z children, but not being able to analyse the information and make sound judgements reflects poor critical thinking skills. This area is where teachers are now starting to change the way they teach and operate their classroom.
‘Flipped’ education practices are starting to emerge where children’s learning takes place outside of the classroom, however the discussion and application of the content is facilitated by the teacher within the classroom.
In these learning environments, the children are first exposed to new content through technology, either via videos, interactive apps, or content-rich websites. The children then bring their learning to the classroom and the teacher provides opportunities for higher-order thinking, critical reasoning, and relevant application. In this way, traditional teaching is slowing being phased out and replaced with a style best suited to the needs of the generation in the classroom.
Of course having an understanding of Gen Z learning styles and applying them to your own classroom are two different things. Teachers grow and move with the curriculum, the children, and the ever changing goal posts. They work to ensure that the children leave their classrooms more aware of the world around them and, if using technology helps rather than hinders, then why wouldn’t you embrace the Information Age and all it has to offer.
Find out more about the story behind Precision Industries and how we strive to help Gen Z learners learn every day.