Connecting to and relating to Digital Natives.
Generation Z truly is the digital generation. They are unlike any before them and are developing in a world that is pure media. They are born into a digitized economy where instant access is everywhere and while the world that they are growing up in is new and evolving, so are the techniques that it will take to teach them.
These are children that have never known a world without internet service, landline phones, or homes without a PC. They have never had to use a phone book or encyclopedia to gain information. And the concept of waiting is foreign.
This is a generation of instant gratification but a group of kids that welcome diversity, change, and accept that things cannot and will not last forever. They are environmentally conscious and aware of social causes. They mobilize through social networks and public formats.
They have been called "The Silent Generation" because of their lack of face to face interaction. They are communicating through various mediums and digital formats. The average Gen x-er sends a minimum of 50 text messages per day, which is the primary use for their mobile phone.
These kids learn differently because they have evolved differently. No longer will a pen, paper and book satisfy the needs of this group who thrives in a media rich environment. As teachers, we must create a world inside the classroom where kids can hear, see and feel relevant messages.
Gen Z Facts:
- Population: 26 million
- Recognize the importance of self-publishing via Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube.
- Able to multi-task and process large amounts of data, but it must be broken into small pieces.
- Must be taught to be creative and imaginative.
- 64% have constant internet access
- Spends 8-9 hours per day connected to at least one form of media.
- 90% of secondary students have mobile devices, 20% of elementary students.
- The most independant generation: the majority spend time alone because of a parent's job. And with the use of digital technology spend the least amount of time in human history using conversation to get ideas across.
- Have developed their own vocabulary and language as a result of technology.
- View marriage as less important, but parenting as more important in life.
- Have more purchasing power than any previous generation at the same age.
- Are less healthy, more obese
- Make rapid decisions; use very little time to contemplate consequences.