Gen Zs do not believe that one size fits all, which is where educators need to start listening and focusing more on individualized learning designs. According to Vanderbilt University Gen Zs love a good challenge and recognition for success (2016). Interestingly, the oldest of this generation are barely out of high school (Wiiliams, 2015) higher education is still promoting designing course engagement around what Millennials want not what Gen Zs expect. This generation does embrace ebooks and online learning, but they also want textbooks, their learning activities to be more global, and meaningful.
“Kids are witnessing start-up companies make it big instantly via social media,” said Andrew Schoonover, a 15-year-old in Olathe, Kan. “We do not want to work at a local fast-food joint for a summer job. We want to make our own business because we see the lucky few who make it big.” (Williams, 2015). This shift from Millennials to Gen Zs is not only hard for businesses, but for educators, but they need to act quickly because Gen Zs are moving at lightening speeds.
Blackboard Inc recognizes the world changing Generation Z and is all ears to hearing from Gen Zs. Attendees to at their International Educational Technology conference, known as BbWorld, in July will have an opportunity to hear two Gen Z presenters. Jonah Stillman, a 16-year old high school student who has conducted national surveys about Gen Zs and is a nationally ranked snowboarder who has partnered with his Gen X dad to present how to prepare for Gen Z by sharing what makes Gen Zs tick. They will be presenting in the Higher Education track on Wednesday, Jul 13, 11:35 AM - 12:25 PM. You can learn more about Jonah on the GenZGuru website at http://genzguru.com/. The second Gen Z to present at BbWorld is Rachel Stange, who is a 14-year old high school student who has already received several academic awards (including starting collage at the age of 13) and is already Microsoft Certified. Rachel will be presenting on how Bb Learn allowed her to turn a scholarship challenge into a global education opportunity for elementary age kids on nutrition, while giving her the opportunity to educate her educators on technology tools to better engage her generation. Rachel will be presenting in the K12 track on Thursday, July 14 8:30 AM - 9:20 AM, with her Gen X mom. While one a polished speaker and one is a new to the speaking circuit, both presentations are sure to enlighten you on Generation Z.
By the way, BbWorld16 attendees just in case you do not know, you can create a personalized agenda now and soon will be accessible using the BbWorld mobile app by following the steps:
- Log in to your account.
- Browse sessions, filtering by track, market, or role
- Add them to your schedule.
Benhamou, L. (2015). Everything you need to know about Generation Z. http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-generation-z-born-in-the-digital-age-2015-2.
BbWorld & Devcon. (2016). Sessions. http://bbworld.com/bbworld/sessions/.
Burns, D. (2016). Gen Z Will Change Your World Again. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-burrus/gen-z-will-change-your-wo_b_9150214.html.
Jenkins, R. (2015) 15 Aspects That Highlight How Generation Z Is Different From Millennials.
Vanderbilt University. (2016). How to get the most from Millennial and Generation Z Employees. http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2016/06/how-to-get-the-most-from-millennial-and-generation-z-employees/.
Williams, A. (2015). Move Over, Millennials, Here Comes Generation Z. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/fashion/move-over-millennials-here-comes-generation-z.html?_r=0.