CATCH THE GENERATION Z WAYS
Post date: Aug 3, 2018 1:38:31 AM
CATCH THE GENERATION Z WAYS
JENNIFER R. TALAUGON
Teacher II – COBNHS SHS
At present, majority of the students enrolled in elementary schools as well as junior and senior high schools are members of the so-called Generation Z. Yes, they are not millennials like how they assumed to be rather they are the Generation Z also known as the Centennials, iGeneration, Post-Millennials and Plurals. This generation came in the midst of technological age and multiculturalism. It has global culture or mixed culture, though some argue that it is just a ‘confused culture’ based on their characteristics and trends which are mostly adopted from foreign cultures making them known for being the most open-minded generation to date. These young individuals are the first true digital natives, growing up with mobile devices, tablets and laptops in both hands. We can say that digital technology for Gen Z is neither distracting nor exciting rather just a normal thing.
Generation Z are often misunderstood by the generations ahead of them. They are mostly perceived as reckless, idle, aggressive, introvert but loud thus becoming the most confused individualistic beings. As eccentric as they can be, this cohort have the most peculiar learning styles. They value easy access to information and expect immediate feedback. They learn most effectively when they are left alone to solve problems and find solutions on their own. Most importantly, according to a study conducted, Generation Z can adapt to new technologies faster than any other generation. Gen Z clearly has different learning preferences, goals and values compare to previous generations thus teaching methods should be adapted to the preferences of this group to ensure the success of the teaching-learning process.
Here are some pedagogies or teaching strategies that can be applied in teaching a Generation Z learner;
Ø Make use of Technology. We cannot take out technology from a centennial’s life. Remember, they are digital natives and they are highly visual thus using pen and paper, chalkboard or manila papers will not suffice to cater the best learning for a Gen Z student. They need the pop outs, the sounds, the codes, the moving letters, symbols or characters and most especially, they need emoticons. According to Seemiller & Grace (2016), Gen Z students prefer flipped courses and rely on YouTube as a primary source of self-instruction. Some conventional teachers would say I am a comedian so I can entertain them for hours - but NO. They need to be really entertained while learning. They will later be sick of silly jokes but if you put a screen on their faces they will get all of the learning they ought to gain without getting bored plus, at the end of the day, the teacher is not exhausted to death.
Ø Embrace the idea of Interconnectedness. Apparently, digital technologies have made Gen Z a global generation with a local mindset which means, this generation shares the same culture and preference with peers across the globe without losing interests in local affairs. However in some appalling cases, Gen Z may know more about ongoing issues on the other side of the globe than what is going on next door. Also, centennials have the great interconnection ever which made them profiled as hyperconnected individuals. Digital technology halted the boundary set within power relations like that of teacher-student relations. Actually, digital technology has redefined teacher-student relations through equal access to information. Moreover, Gen Z possesses a very influential voice that is valued and considered online like that of the effect of the bloggers’ and netizens’ commentaries on social media. As a teacher, our main role is to facilitate them in analyzing information available on the web as well as guiding them in filtering interconnections in a critical and in an adept manner so they would not be deluded.
Ø Give them Take Home Tasks. Since Gen Z enjoys working alone, giving them take home tasks will enable them to work on their own pace thus allowing them to solve problems and find solutions on their own. That will provide them vast opportunities to do their task in the manner they would love to. However, take home tasks will require the effort of teachers in guiding the students on how to scrutinize, sort, and synthesize information to prevent information overload as well as for checking accuracy and evaluating information. Teachers must provide strict guidelines for online searching and viewing and segmented assignments could help students avoid the binge mentality that can cause them to consume time and lose focus.
Ø Break the Long Lectures. Based on studies, an average human has the ability to listen and absorb learning from a three-hour lecture. However, Gen Z learners would not be able to take an hour sitting just to hear lectures. Gen Z learners are more effective when multitasking and with constant stimulation. A long lecture would bore them and the moment they lose interest in the discussion, the teaching-learning process already is a failure.
Ø Ensure Parental Involvement. Communication with parents or active parental involvement has tremendous impact on the academic success of a Gen Z learner or of any learner be it a Baby Boomer or a Millennial. The way parental involvement take effect on student’s success from an earlier generation goes the same among Gen Z learners. In fact, they need it greater because Gen Z learners need vivid understanding especially from their parents who, most often only thinks negatively about their extreme inclination to technology and gadgets.
Ø Provide Immediate Feedback and adapt their Language. According to several studies the Gen Z learners are quite impatient and have the shortest retention span among all generations. What they do today or what they hear today could be gone tomorrow. Providing them immediate feedback regarding their tasks while employing their language style is a win-win strategy in teaching a Gen Z learner.