Generation Z (Gen Zers) were born into a world where the internet, social media and mobile technology always existed and excited them. From iPads to apps – Gen Z has seen and experienced it all. Today educators are flipping their traditional courses and offering either hybrid or online courses to engage students.
Millennials are tech-savvy. Gen Z’s are tech native:
Millennials learned primarily from lectures and textbooks but Gen Z learns visually and by experience, through videos, experiments and VR. Generation Z students crave autonomy in learning. They are self-paced, self-directed, and independent with freedom of what/how they learn. Online learning has engaged Gen Z students more than ever as they enjoy interactions with people, even without the need of “face-to-face” interaction as they adopt the use of apps such as Skype and Zoom to converse with others.
Increased Participation in Students:
At GIIS Dubai, we aim to facilitate digital engagement and student experience simultaneously. Through various live interactive tools used in our flexible blended learning models such as Jam board, Google slides, Nearpod - students find themselves participating even more. Using these interactive tools, Gen Z students can share their thoughts and opinions, their ideas and perspectives. Recently, students of Grade 1 to 5 developed websites, and have come up with innovative product ideas and presented their business plans to a panel of judges during the “My Startup Challenge” virtual event conducted at GIIS Dubai.
In GIIS Dubai, students collaborate with their peers in group projects on Zoom by using breakout rooms, polls and annotate features. They also use google classroom, Pear deck and Nearpod to collaborate with their peers.
Cyber-Safety at GIIS:
While technology allows students to take control of their learning, we also encourage students in understanding the implications of technology with regards to cyber safety and being safe on the internet using interactive video lessons.
Critical, Independent and Self-Reflective Gen Z Students at GIIS:
Technology is embedded in all parts of GIIS Dubai’s lesson plans. We aspire our students to become critical and self-reflective in their learning. Experimenting with tools like Kahoot and Hey Math allows them to take initiative in their learning. This is a defining characteristic of Gen Z as they are independently working individuals. Further, GIIS Dubai encourages the use of self-reflective tools to facilitate personal growth and self-awareness. Through the implementation of digital self-reflection i.e., Nearpod, students can understand their mistakes. Along with guidance from educators, they can also develop strategies to tackle these mistakes.
Research indicates that empowering students to have an organization in their education will lead to many positive outcomes, they can personalize their learning, they develop a tolerance for uncertainty, achieve regardless of ability, and build dispositional skills, perseverance and self-awareness.
To conclude, it is imperative to be conscious of the new generation and to ensure we facilitate the best possible learning for each student. Technology supports shaping students into the people they are and continue to be. As teachers, we must utilize technology in the best way possible to fuel these Gen Z characteristics by delivering a progressive learning environment enhanced by technology.