Generation Z, from a cultural perspective, is clearly different than those that came before them, but did you ever consider how the world they’re growing up in and the technology that surrounds them shapes the way they learn?
That’s the core of this article, but just to make sure we’re all on the same page, we’re going to offer a definition who the term Generation Z applies to.
Generation Z refers to young people who were born between 1996 and 2014. This generation stands out from the previous generations – millennials and generation X – for a ton of reasons, many of which we’re going to address below.
We’re also going to focus on how generation Z traits change the way they learn and discover knowledge. But first of all, let’s take a look at the key characteristics that define generation Z.
Generation Z Facts & Characteristics
1. Gen Zers are technologically advanced and knew how to use a smartphone from an early age.
2. Gen Z representatives have never seen the world without the internet and thus have affinity for texting and messaging on mobile apps or online platforms, sometimes even over in-person, face-to-face communication.
3. Another characteristic of the Gen Z population is that they absorb tons of new information every day. Gen Z kids spend several hours a day in social media or searching the internet for information.
4. According to infographics by Upfront Analytics, generation Z perceives information visually, so marketing campaigns that are targeted at gen Zers revolve around story telling, explainer videos, and other forms of visualization.
5. Being independent, self confident and autonomous are also some of the key characteristics of generation Z. They do not rely on their parents as much as previous teen generations did. The reason is that the internet and technologies allow gen Zers to start earning money at much earlier age than their parents.
As Millennial Branding reports in their research of high school internship programs, 72% of modern high school students are thinking of starting their own business in the future. Meanwhile, 76% hope that their future jobs will be derived from their hobbies.
6. Gen Z representatives have short attention spans and are less focused than their predecessors. According to an infographic by Visioncritical, the attention span of gen Zers is only 8 seconds, so one should try hard to capture and hold their attention.
7. Gen Zers are environmentally aware. They value the eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle much more than any previous generation. Maybe this generation will actually have a positive impact on the environment.
8. Multitasking is also one of the positive generation Z traits. Due to their extraordinary ability to process and absorb lots of information within seconds, gen Z kids can easily handle several tasks at once.
Now let’s see how the aforementioned generation Z personality traits impact their studying habits and find out which JKCP programs and camps can be aligned with those traits.
How These Gen Z Traits Relate To Learning
According to the generation Z facts sheet prepared by Common Sense Census, 44% of teens use computers to do their homework. Furthermore, 48% of teens watch how to videos that are related to school. Classrooms at schools are also adapting to the new generation by offering various ed tech solutions for their students.
As for JKCP, we are happy to provide a wide range of courses for kids who are keen on technology. For example, gen Zers might like the Technology track at our Julian Krinsky Xploration program, which includes the Intro to Coding & App Development course, or the Engineering track with its Inventioneering and Robotics courses.
Who knows - maybe a team of young gen Zers will soon build an ed tech app that will help them be more productive both in the classroom and while doing their home assignments.
When it comes to studying, Gen Zers prefer to connect with their fellow students and teachers on social media sites such as Facebook.
Teachers can find instructions on how to teach “digital” kids directly on Facebook. The social network recommends that the teachers create closed Facebook groups for kids and their parents. They can use these groups to share not only the homework assignments but also information regarding classroom activities, field trips, and so on.
Many gen Zers also see social media such as Instagram or YouTube as a potential source of income. At JKCP one of our summer camps, students can learn how to make money as a video blogger by participating in the YouTube Influencer class within the Enrichment program. Our experienced instructors will teach the gen Zers on how to become successful digital entrepreneurs with the help of YouTube videos.
This skill is perfect when it comes to home assignments. According to the same generation Z statistics gathered by Common Sense Census, 50% to 76% of gen Z students report that they listen to music, send text messages, watch TV, or use social media while doing their homework.
55% also report that doing something else together with the home assignments does not affect their productivity and in some cases even helps them become more productive. Besides, gen Zers start earning their own money much earlier than the millennials used to, and thus the multitasking skills help them combine work and study.
At JKCP, we offer a unique Enrichment program that is tailored specifically to the life rhythm of gen Zers. This program allows the students to study at their own pace as well as choose what they want to study, how deep they want to study this subject, and when they want to do it. Such flexibility makes Enrichment perfect for gen Z kids.
Online communication vs offline communication
Many universities in the US are now adapting to the needs of gen Zers by offering distance learning programs. Masterstudies.com reports that US universities offer 88 Master’s programs in distance learning as of 2018.
Focused on independence
By seeking independence and autonomy, gen Zers demonstrate strong entrepreneurial skills. As we have already mentioned, gen Zers successfully work and study at the same time. JKCP offers plenty of programs that help the gen Z students enhance their entrepreneurial streak.
For example, Julian Krinsky Business School is aimed at discovering and developing the talents of future business leaders. The highlights of the program includes an introduction to business management strategy, business etiquette, global economic trends, and much more.
JKCP also offers internships for high school students to help them choose their future career path in disciplines such as business, engineering, entertainment, hospitality, marketing, medicine, and politics.
Now you know what generation Z is and which gen Z traits make them different from millennials and previous generations. No matter if you are a parent, a teacher, or a marketer – you can use this deep dive into generation Z characteristics to reach out to them and tap into their interests.