GenerationZ refers to the post-millennial population. The oldest GenZ is now about 22 years old. They were born between 2005 – 2012 and currently have a presence in the workforce. Their interactions and contributions have presented a new complexion in the classroom and in the workforce.
Their unique collection of personal resources may seem foreign to us old-timers, but have faith. They are not broken, they are different, and their many differences present an unknown for those of us in previous generations. The time has come to better understand the newest generation of future leaders. Here are 5 Myths Believed about GenerationZ.
Myth 1 | GenZ-er’s Are Tech Addicts
Many times GenXer’s are classified as technology addicts. But, rather than an addition, technology is a way of life. These students have never know life without a computer or tablet in every home.
Most have had cell phones before the age of 11, and personal devices are not a luxury, but an appendage of their character, making it an absolute necessity to their understanding of where they fit in the world.
Myth 2 | GenZ-er’s are Wired Wrong
There is nothing wrong with the brains of this generation. Information has always been at their fingertips. Personal devices drip feed ads, information, and social media threads tailored to their personalities.
It’s only logical that they expect this type of individualized attention beyond their keyboard and screens.
Myth 3 | GenZ-er’s Can’t Read
It’s a fallacy to say this population is illiterate resulting in the overload of visual information. This is not true. They actually read more, including text in print than their parents.
In fact, just 4% of young adult novels are digital sales. They love storytelling as did other generations, they just want it presented to them more quickly.
Myth 3 | GenZ-er’s Don’t Care About Learning
Yet another strong claim against this tribe is that they are disengaged at school. To them, the context of learning has a different delivery system than traditional methods. For long term education professionals this may be difficult to accept.
It may appear GenZ’s aren’t concerned with the academic goals at hand, but they are actually more career-oriented than millennials. They want to do the world good and contribute positively.
Myth 4 | GenZ-er’s Just Want to be Entertained
The truth is their attention is short, eight seconds short. However, they collect information every day at rapid speed. This is what they know: fast information access at the touch of a button. Much of their information is gathered from YouTube and other visual media which substantiates their preference of learning through video.
This leads one to believe distance learning and online course work will become increasingly more popular. This may answer many questions about the increased levels of impatience, demand for attention, and the expectation of personalization in their daily lives.
Myth 5 | GenZ-er’s Are Egotistical
Sometimes the GenZ population appears to be concerned about themselves than others. This is a mistaken interpretation of the time they spend attached to their devices. But what we need to remember is they have concerns.
Those concerns are attended to differently than might be expected. The generation cares about more than the social media they’re following. They are actually attentive to world problems and their future.
How Do We Help GenZ Reach Their Potential?
These insights alone should be enough to help you recognize a few of the reason the nature of teaching and learning has experienced a shift in recent years. Young people are products of the immediate gratification culture resulting from technology.
Their brains are wired differently than the generation that came before, and this in turn, impacts the methods needed to meet the needs of our population.
Remembering facts and figures isn’t becoming less important, as of yet, however, these new world learners are less skilled at remembering and more skilled at remembering where to find information, thanks to their Google searches.
Tech changes the way one thinks. Because technology changes thinking, perhaps one of the suggested tips will help increase the efficiency of teaching and better support students’ different style of learning.
17 Interesting Facts About GenZ Learners
8 Ways to Support Our GenZ Students
Resources: GenZ Learners