Improvements and changes in virtual learning will mostly depend on who will use them. At this point, the focus is shifting to the Generation Z. This generation comes after the Millennials and was born between 1995 to 2009. And the oldest of them are currently going through college.
Just like the Millennials, the Gen Z are changing the world of learning. Among the other generations, they are the ones who never knew a time without the Internet. This is the generation that grew up with a booming technology and social learning – both off and online.
Every generation’s learning preferences are shaped by the world that they live in. The same is true for Gen Z. Since they are the main characters in the educational system, everyone is scrambling to figure out how to teach them best. Thanks to the wonders of technology, we are now able to change how learning happens. We do not have to contend with how our parents or grandparents were taught. We can create a new way of learning for the simple reason that it is more effective and we have a sophisticated technology to allow that to happen.
Without a doubt, there is a need to personalize virtual learning to accommodate the unique characteristics of the Gen Z. But how do you do that? There are 2 important considerations that will affect how they prefer to learn.
Higher level of awareness
We go on and on about how the Internet is a rich resource of information. With a click of a button and by tapping on a keyboard, you get to access information that used to be hard to find. You need to take a few seconds to get the data that you need. This made the Gen Z more literate compared to other generations when they were the same age.
Whether the information is personal, political, educational, or otherwise, it is all on the Internet. So how do you teach a generation that is well-informed?
Simple – you make sure they know how to filter the information. While the Internet is impressive in the way it makes information accessible, it does lack in filtering what is true and what is not. The Gen Z has to learn how to distinguish the difference. It is true that there is a vast resource of information online – but most of it is created by users themselves. Knowing how to identify the true and legitimate information is just as important as getting it. More than ever, a critical mind is a very important skill to learn by this generation.
It is also important for you to realize how important social interaction is in the learning process of the Gen Z. Believe it or not, this generation uses their social connection to learn something new. Whether it is something trivial as getting a product review or directly asking for information, this generation knows how to rely on others for help. Since the Internet gives them unlimited access to their social connections, you can expect that this practice will continue to grow.
So what does this have to do with virtual learning? Simple – you need to use social learning more to captivate this generation. You also have to understand that they are not passive learners. They do not want to listen. They want to do something to learn how it is done. And while they are doing it, they want to have others with them to compare notes with.
In case you want the Gen Z to grow in virtual learning, make sure you engage them by taking these two factors into consideration.