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Gen Z in Education

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Education and eLearning are in a constant state of development and evolution. The rate of change in the digital learning space has been exceedingly rapid. The abrupt demand for online education platforms was an obstacle that a lot of institutions–from massive traditional universities to individual educators–had to overcome.

Quick to adapt to these changes are students from Generation Z, also known as Zoomers or iGeneration, kids born roughly around the years 1995-2012. They are considered to be digitally native due to growing up already surrounded with technology.

Here are some of the pressing topics discussed in relation to this age demographic as we examine how eLearning evolves to suit the particular needs of its students.

Generational Differences

As outlined through an article by Google and the Gen Z in the Classroom: Creating the Future report by Adobe, some of the defining traits of this generation include:

  • Technology being at the forefront of their studies
  • Always looking to do new things
  • More creative than previous generations
  • Looking for digestible content
  • Importance of learning beyond the classroom
  • Blurring lines between serious learning and lighthearted content

Due to these traits, Gen Z students are proactive when it comes to developing their own skills, turning to the internet for guidance. YouTube, in particular, has become a primary source of learning with 78% of respondents from this group choosing it as their top social media platform used. This has been adopted by educational institutions as 93% of educators agree that digital media such as videos and podcasts are important teaching tools for Gen Z, compared to 51% from previous generations.

With this, educational video content and display advertising have been found to increase the reach of online courses and are pivotal to stirring students’ learning interest.

Online Tutoring

Online tutoring has followed the rise of eLearning courses and platforms. Most parents turned to online tutoring in order to prevent their Gen Z children from falling behind their virtual classes and to provide additional learning support. Besides that, having a dedicated platform that connects students to tutors helps assure quality teaching from the tutors. With platforms such as these that have lower operating expenses than in-person tutoring services, students from low-income households are able to gain access to tutoring services as well.

Examples of top companies include:

  • Grade Potential
  • Studypool
  • Varsity Tutors
  • Wyzant
  • Tutor Eye

Besides K-12 students, these companies also offer their services to higher ed students, veterans, and libraries, as showcased in their websites’ landing pages. Moreover, these categories are further broken down into subject offerings from a variety of fields that students want to specialize in–from rocket science to macroeconomics.

Mobile-first content

For years, mobile content through courses and training platforms were created after their PC-counterparts were made. However, many eLearning companies today are not just gearing to have mobile-ready courses but also mobile-first courses and training to answer the needs of younger generations. In particular, a Gen Z individual spends, on average, around 4 hours on their smartphones everyday, preferring it over their tablets or computers.

Altextsoft outlines the advantages of being mobile-ready:

  • Standing out from competitors
  • Increased customer reach
  • Better engagement and retention
  • Unmatched data source

Focusing on creating an optimal mobile experience increases not only student engagement but also employees’. Education distribution through mobile devices allow learners to easily access their materials on their phones and be alerted for new course updates.

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