Most of the present primary and secondary schools are catering to Generation Z, or post-millennials. Any progressive school will agree that confining Gen Z to regimented classroom and chalk-and-talk teaching will lead to futile learning. To keep up with the present generation’s learning style, schools have to leverage on technology.
Gen Z was born in a world surrounded with technology. Devices like smart phones and tablets have been their favourite babysitters. Constant interface with technology has altered the way Gen Z thinks, perceives and uses information. A simple example would be how Gen Z focuses on where to find information rather than what information to find. They know that the answer to their queries exists somewhere in the digital world, the challenge is where and how quickly to access that information. Technology has trained their brain to a different pattern of thinking and educators need to comply to this new way in order to deliver effective learning.
3 ways technology can accelerate educational experience for Generation Z
Technology Boosts Visual Learning
Research suggests that as much 65 % of students in a classroom are visual learners. Our brain processes visual information 60,000 faster than text. Statistics point to the fact that the visual mode of teaching is far more effective. It would be great if teachers can create more lessons that use graphs, charts, pictures, simulations, models and videos to teach Gen Z.
Technology aids the educator in creating visually stimulating learning materials. It provides a myriad of multimedia tools to the teachers for creating videos, audios, movies, animations, charts, and graphs for imparting lessons. Secondly, technical resources in the classroom, like Smart TV and Digital Board, effectively deliver learning material to the class and also make lessons interactive. Thus, technology is a strategic teaching tool in schools for Gen Z.
The GIIS SMART Campus in Singapore has 92 classrooms that are fitted with Smart TVs and digital boards. These tools add value to the students' learning experience as they can relate better to visual methods of teaching.
Technology Helps in Greater Participation
In a conventional classroom, students do not use any digital device for lessons. They interact in the class and share views by raising their hands. However, many students are shy and avoid being vocal about their opinions. Research shows that Gen Z is more forthcoming to express their views and ideas on digital forums, rather than orally voicing their opinions. If students have access to digital devices like Tablets, Laptops or Desktops, they can be more participative in class discussions. By using school apps installed on these devices, every student can get to share his view. The teacher will also get to know and appreciate everyone’s opinion. This is a great way of boosting the confidence of students. Gen Z likes to feel empowered and being an integral part of processes.
GIIS SMART Campus has iPad for every student and various school apps on the device help them to be more participative in the lessons and come out of their shell to express their ideas.
Technology Enhances Productivity
Technology enhances the productivity of teachers and students. A simple example can be the Facial Recognition device being used to record attendance rather than teacher marking it manually. It also provides an additional level of safety. Technology enabled systems like smart boards, iPads and Virtual Classrooms, help in saving the precious time so that teachers can devote more time to fruitful interactions with the class.
Conclusion: Technology is a key requirement in present-day schools as they are catering to a generation that cannot think of a life without technology. In times when children are readily using gadgets and apps for interacting and searching information, conventional classrooms will not be able to engage students. Digital age students need digital stimulus to learn and retain knowledge.