How to teach Gen Z to be Collaborative, Innovative and Responsive

Monday, February 06, 2017

When I was eight years old, my third-grade teacher, Ms. Calov, taught me to be an inquisitive learner. Through her contagious enthusiasm, she turned me from an ordinary kid who did only what was required, to a perceptive student who asked for more projects and always connected what I learned to the world around me.

The kinds of soft skills I learned from Ms. Calov are increasingly important for Gen Z, the generation cohort after millennials. To be prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow, these students need to be collaborative, innovative and responsive to their environment. Here's a look at how today's teachers are fostering curiosity, creativity and other skills in their students, with help from technology.

- Mark McCrindle

Encouraging collaboration

School is no longer just a place to learn math, science and writing. It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others. Technology can encourage this kind of interaction. For example, since Gen Z is the first digital-native generation, teachers are asking students for help using technology and to show their peers how to use new tools. Students are working on group projects when they’re in separate physical locations, developing their ability to communicate through written feedback and explain the thinking behind their suggestions.

Encourage lifelong learning and innovative thinking

Teachers today are encouraging students to have a love of learning and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, so they can adapt to new careers and industries. The average employee tenure in the U.S. is 4.2 years, a decline from 4.6 years two years prior. In Australia, we’re experiencing a similar effect where employees are staying in jobs for a shorter duration—the Australian average is three years. This means Gen Z will have 17 different jobs in their life, and they’ll need to continue to learn new skills and how to use new tools as they progress in their careers. By designing learning tasks that have a real-world application, teachers are engaging their students as problem finders and problem solvers—roles that are crucial in any job.

Foster an adaptive mindset that’s ready for change

As the economy shifts and new jobs like VR engineers and cognitive computer analysts emerge, the next generation will need to be able to learn quickly and connect the dots between related topics. To teach these skills, many teachers are “flipping” learning —asking students to reflect on global issues and synthesize information from videos, podcasts and written material, instead of simply assigning a chapter in a textbook.

Six decades later, I still remember Ms. Calov. Her inspiration reminds me of a Mother Teresa quote: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Ms. Calov created many ripples by fostering a love of learning and empowering a community of learners. But with technology, every teacher can teach students lifelong skills to carry them through their careers.

Learn more by watching Mark’s recorded talk from Education on Air.

Generation Z defined; The 5 characteristics of today's students

Friday, September 09, 2016


For today’s students, growing up with the emerging technologies at their fingertips has blurred the lines of work and social, of study and entertainment, of private and public. They now live in an open book environment – just a few clicks away from any information. They connect in a border less world across countries and cultures, and they communicate in a post-literate community where texts and tweets are brief, and where visuals and videos get the most cut-through.

At McCrindle, we are regularly engaged by a variety of organisations to assist with understanding who Generation Z is, what context they are being shaped in the traits that define them. Before we can engage this generation, we first need to understand them.

So how can we understand the emerging generations and their learning habits? Well, based on our research, here are five characteristics of today’s students:

Social

Traditionally, learning took place in the classroom and the practice and application through homework. However, in the 21st Century, content can now be accessed through technology anywhere, and often in very visual and engaging forms. Thus we have the flipping of education where the learning takes place outside the classroom, but the essential engagement and practice is still conducted at school, by the all-important facilitator, rather than the teacher.

Mobile

Not only through technology do today’s students interact, but they are mobile in terms of the jobs they will have and the homes they will live in. It is therefore important to think about how you can equip this generation with not just content but resilience in a changing world.

Global

Today's generation of students are truly global, and are the most likely generation to work in multiple countries. They’re the most globally connected and influenced generation in history and are not limited to the local, but are global as never before.

Digital

We've called the emerging generation, Gen Alpha, but we also call them Generation Glass, because it is not just pen and paper, but iPads and screens on which they will learn, which are designed to not just display the written but the visual. While today’s students need literacy they also need digital skills to thrive in this changing world.

Visual

In an era of information overload, messages have increasingly become image-based and signs, logos and brands communicate across the language barriers with colour and picture rather than with words and phrases. Communicating symbols and pictures with stories isn’t an entirely new concept. Most ancient forms of communication such as indigenous rock art, reinforces the notion that it is pictures not words that tell the story. Visuals are also the way in which the brain processes information best. It can retain visual symbols and images rather than just written content. Our analysis of learning styles has shown the dominance in the visual and hands on learning styles, above auditory delivery form, which has traditionally dominated the classroom.


To find out more about Generation Z, visit our site generationz.com.au and if we can assist with any presentations on the topic of the emerging generations, please feel free to get in touch.


About Ashley McKenzie - Team Leader of Communications at McCrindle

Ashley McKenzie is a social researcher, trends analyst and Team Leader of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst she understands the need for organisations to communicate with the emerging generations to effectively engage and motivate them. 

From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms, content creation and event management, Ashley is well positioned to advise how to achieve cut through in these message-saturated times. 

Her expertise is in training and equipping leaders and teams on how to communicate across generational barriers.


DOWNLOAD ASHLEY'S SPEAKERS PACK HERE.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare


Last 150 Articles


Tags

generation Z hobart future of education Christmas data authenticity keynote media activity conference speaker travelling Maxim Accounting GPO young people baby boom crime pharmacy townhouses cancelling plans cash mother's day forecast NT NSW HSC Sydney population The Daily Edition marrickville research data year 7 entrepreneurs of today bondi January 26th responsive builders apartments litter Willowdale news experience who is generation z australian community trends report 2014 demographic transformations ideas shbc social conferences ACF 2016 grave decision market research teachers data social trends easy rider the average aussie Christmas day weather education sector FPA goal Do It Yourself census 2016 Sydney Lifestyle Study personal growth wealth and income distribution Caregiver NBRS trades low density TEDx Speaker tuesday australian real estate education research hunger futurist mining boom researcher economy education future suburban living global generations Northern Beaches local christmas 2017 huffington post Mark McCrindle choice workers engage emerging generations teleworking brand experience census fail potts point insights census results thrive screenagers australia millionth entertainment future proofing speaker average sydneysider entrepreneur social change property market newspaper wolloomooloo gen z Australian Dream chairty Channel Seven insight group household Australia street apartment communications poker master business Adelaide infographic millenials Gen Y brisbane analysis population map video DESTEL house price rise Generation X emerging trends Valentine’s Day society children brands conference presentation couple trend sydney event royal influence rule keeper public transport Wagga Wagga purpose Engineering Manager demographer generation states speakers pack tv seasons Channel 7 sector skills Tuesday Trends Financial Planning Association of Australia politics organisations event Hornsby Shire Council snapshot cost employment focus group middle class giving Northern beaches Event story cloudy days home ownership cooking NFP event woolworths financial equip energy growth economic ACF17 Australian Home Vocational education Crime Rates car cancel plans going out greatness Geoff Brailey school students cost of living collaboration priorities innovation healthy future learning Deaths speajer world gender village professional services house prices mythbusting Education Future Forum year 12 food bank Financial Planning Week volunteers digital communicate educhat qualitative research FOMO new york times 2015 monarchy language Christchurch darwin careers resilience slideshare change brand vegetarian contiki technology medicine house TED cold baby boomers school satisfaction World Water Day demography dream Real Estate schools 1968 hopes leader university degree visual youth unemployment motivate work from home home Macquarie University marriages trends analyst global financial crisis financial fears financial planning shopping meetings budget Christmas in Australia the hills typical australian affordability holidays wealth and income forecasting australian Elderslie-Harrington park Lower Hunter small business australian social research baby names australia report CBD moderators guide not for profit define ashley fell Northern Territory balance internet baby name trends overcast national crime rates Births mccrindle research Work place sydney metro commuters identity not-for-profit Black Friday VIC teacher charities Research Executive statistics program property Sydney Hills Business Chamber 2016 census results baby name tableau high density apartments sydney speaker wage sydney property market wealth inequality land of the middle class screenage ultimo ipswich weekly earnings trend tuesday online unaffordable renting mover and shaker spend vegemite tertiary education renter of the future volunteering 2017 stay home fresh learner alpha jobs EFF pharmacies safe leadership gig economy challenge money social lives McCridle publication award real food insecurity 1994 crows nest parenting presentations dreams transport generations sydneysiders 2016 gig organisational culture REIV Conference students digital economy social research curiosity mobile Kiwi 2020 volunteering data christmas trees the australian dream System's Architect city wages cultural diveristy tips The ABC of XYZ McCrindle Speakers facts commuting workplace culture trends Love showreel 1980 results English Tuesday Trend investing logan future-proof charity workforce social media list paying to work New Zealand mateship schools students NEETs young australians repayments cica princess charlotte narcissism New Zeland easter Australian demographics teaching community proactive learning styles graphs dreaming social issues employmee customer church gen alpha engagement Retail sun high school aged care ABS Territory communities social enquiry sunburnt country criminal Black Friday Sales fears relevant financial dreams online shopping mccrindle in the media employmer financial future cartodb Australians social shifts holiday baby population growth Research Director Merry Christmas research report future proof Tasmania click Wellington quote breakfast JOMO training relational IT Specialists urban taskforce annual income investor christianity christmas long weekend forum educated Charlotte ease of travel report happy holidays internship hills shire community event participants mythbusters case study casual domestic families local communities urban living ACF VET prince george Hunter Valley affordable housing communication households speakers data analyst clothing in the media shifts mentor trends of 2017 future of work live the dream mccrindle tea staying in rising house prices Jura Coffee professional speaker data visualisation new office survey social analyst emerging technologies suburbs conference Christmas research New South Wales waverton global Australian Trends infographic wall jobs of the future social analysis faith professional presenters hills Jura Australia ethnography ashley mckenzie generational trends Generation Y 1975 rise of local career 24,000,000 workplace rich megatrends sydney hills media release housing affordability research services marketing divorce rate micro personalities socialites cars optimistic victoria increasing densification changing face of sydney water women research on coffee life deloitte capital city ageing population local community research visualisation Canberra SA the changing face of faux-cilising Christmas season residents social commentator Business analysis 23 million micro apartments area Wodonga hello fresh learn coffee growing population home owner commute supply and demand rain younger generations Christmas day WA sydney market royal baby friendship Social Trend social impact Assistant Store Manager public speaker Res Vis dare to dream environment follow baby names lalor park tea social commentary summer storytelling work mates tattoos housing market Bathburst group session intern Sydney’s south west debate Australian Bureau of Statistics population "know the times" salary media commentary retirement networking Sydney keynote speaker optus Hills Shire Council rental stress high density product SMART social researchers royal family christian education focus groups professional wedding February 16 Real Estate Institute of Victoria belief Australian Communities Trends debt sports Financial Planning Association society trends hornsby post rationalism study wellbeing Royals parents 24 million australian communities forum food acf15 survey design global retail nfp blaxland nativity scene Gen Z Expert train owning a home resource James Ward etiquette CPI father's day kate middleton Australian communities 2012 offenders work leadership workshop Population Clock mccrindle staff 2016 census earning goals student VET sector Aussie selfie Sydney youth norwest aussie culture TED talk PSI research pack google thought leadership house price poor sector wide housing growth average aussie divorce Performance Sentiment Index sunny days religion office space census recap university earnings demographic visualisation research urban development Word Up ACT sydneycity Scouts geomapping coffee lovers keynote speaker twentyseventeen Aussies family Australian schools McCrindle Keynote Speakers Christmas lunch moreton bay demographic trends Cobbitty-Leppington cultural diversity Netflix income #censusfail baby name predictions teach mccrinlde know the times the great screenage aged care puzzle ageing pyrmont daily commute perth average Australian Mount Annan-Currant Hill shopper's pick interactive donation TEDx 40 million winter blues urban Northern Beaches Christian School community engagement marriage future Christmas presents Australian Census growth of sydney 10 years future of shopping employers gold coast internships Queensland Andrew Duffin national wealth the lucky country Black Friday in Australia Australian Families SRE business index property development NBRS Architecture housing trends census data environmental scanning professional development property price buildings SMSF government education future report celebration meals menai office impact work-life wealth 2013 social researcher TAS public speaking toys Australian community trends financial independence earn collaborative workshop friends McCrindle Speaker living REIV National Conference investment omnibus care support ferry plans happiness suburb events Kirsten Brewer Gen X neutral bay travel unemployment eliane miles mortgage child care shopping centre Myth Lower Hunter Region infographics grandparents finance volunteer US culturally diverse optus my business awards sentiments social life sustainable stats demographics google for education innovative South Australia wealth distribution australians staying home more Mark McCrindle in the media trends of 2016 award winner capital cities bus seasons greetings lifestyle Australian Population dessert Australia Day cancelling event the hills shire ACF2017 consumer spirituality not for profit research daily telegraph socialising anzac Skilling names sector wide study baby names report media Christmas Stats population milestone Queensland: QLD royal school consumerism men weather Duchess of Cambridge sydneysider culture presentation winter faux-ciliser eliane world youth day millennials faux-cilise national private wealth office opening australian communities trends report Australia Day 2017 high density living Western Australia What is food insecurity? rent state generation alpha bureau business performance public holiday outsourcing entrepreneurial TDE manly non profit ACT Report donate panel Melbourne in depth interviews urban living index DIY

Archive