Adobe conducted an online survey in 2016. The survey covered 1007 gen Z students and 414 Gen Z educators in order to study the impact of technology on Gen Z and their preference for it in the classroom. The main conclusions from the survey were:
Gen Z considers technology as a defining characteristic of the generation.
Gen Z learns best by doing and want more creativity in their classrooms. They believe creativity plays a big role in their future success and solving today’s challenges.
Gen Z as a generation loves the adjectives of “smart” and “creative” to describe themselves and looks at technology as a means to creativity. They also consider themselves as more creative than the past generations and that they look at novel, “better” ways of doing any task. The digital tools accessible in today’s world serves as outlets for creativity.
Most people of this young generation remain uncertain of their future. They are also not sure on how their online presence might be interpreted from their future universities or employers.
Both the educators and students feel that this generation learns best by hands-on experience. They feel that the technology required for this is available and it is the curriculum that needs to be updated.
“Gen Z sees interconnectivity, access to information, inclusion and the greater variety of professional choices as their greatest advantages,” according to the survey. Such interconnectivity makes them more tolerant to people from other backgrounds. However, teachers feel the students tend to over depend on technology even for small tasks that they become lazy, and fail to think outside the box.
“Everyone has a phone and/or tablet in class. This is unheard of even 4 years ago. Curriculum is WAY behind these kids…you can view instantaneous info whereas textbooks and papers are obsolete. Also, Gen Z students want to be entertained…they will believe/trust YouTube over a textbook any day,” says a teacher to Adobe.
Everyone learns through developing critical skills, intellectual curiosity, solving problems, gaining experience, team building skills and memorization. But what makes Gen Z different is that technology plays a major role in their learning process. Digital media is as important as the textbook and the lecture.
In conclusion, Gen Z loves to be tech-savvy and creative.