How to engage Generation Z in the classroom
Generation Z, also known as the Internet Generation and Digital Natives, represent the first one to grow up in a world where Internet access has always been available and plentiful. These hyper-connected and tech-savvy youngsters are changing how educators formulate lessons and interact with students. Many predict they could forever change how kids are taught at all levels by making technology an integral part of all classroom study. Whether you’re a teacher-in-training at a college or university, a parent seeking to better understand your child’s educational needs or just have an interest in the history of the generation soon filling American workplaces, here are some of the most important educational trends to watch.
There are few places in the U.S. today, aside from the most remote regions, where mobile or Internet-connected devices aren’t mostly ubiquitous. These interactive tools, especially the iPad, are becoming a bigger and bigger part of education programs nationwide. With Generation Z students already proficient with technology, there is no learning curve. Teachers and students alike have been able to use the wide range of applications they provide to promote engagement and learning both at home and in school. Interactive textbooks, educational games, and collaborative projects are just a few of the ways educators are using tech to get the digital generation better involved.
Homeschooling used to be a pretty rare phenomenon, but in recent years a significant surge helped make it much more mainstream. Increased popularity means more resources and support for homeschooling parents, many of whom chose the path in order to create a more individualized, self-directed learning environment. One of the tools making homeschool a lot easier is the web, where students and parents can connect with others and find a wide range of materials with which to teach and learn. Blogger and entrepreneur Penelope Trunk believes this Gen Z trend will lead to a group of young people more comfortable figuring out what they want to do and how they want to do it when it comes time to enter the work force.