From the desk of Dorothy McKinley Soressi
School Change Maker
Meeting the needs of students to change their future
Relating to Gen Z Students
Currently there are several generations of students in the classroom. All with distinct learning and teaching preferences. Utilizing age appropriate teaching strategies is of paramount importance. The newest generation-– Generation Z typically born after 1995 are very different from previous generations.
Gen Z’s are more distracted than Millennials with a shorter attention span. They are accustomed to having information at their fingertips and only print information when necessary. Forget handouts for this student, think digital formatting as posting information works best. They reach for their smart phones every seven seconds, using several screens to accomplish tasks. Thinking digital, incorporating apps when creating educational content. Long lectures are not the best educational format for Gen Z’s.
Information that is presented in a short digestible format with straight to the point solutions and bullet points will keep students engaged, the class moving and maintains their interest. Gen Z students need to be kept busy to be engaged in the learning process. Project- driven instruction with specific goals incorporating several visual components such as graphics and videos and incorporating several kinds of practice tasks is important. Provide clear directions in all expectations.
Prepare to help students deal with challenges that might be beyond their developmental level. Guide their thinking and explain why it’s important they participate. The information that needs to be presented does not change, just the way in which the information is presented.
When teaching across different generations, think outside your “box”. Work to create a culture of mutual respect.
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