Welcome, Gen Z! to offer ways to engage young, tech-savvy students

October 24, 2017

Hannah Harvey

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    Each generation comes with its own unique set of characteristics. Aside from a love for avocado toast, Millennials are tech-savvy, connected and good at multitasking. For their younger siblings, Generation Z, these traits are heightened.

    When it comes to learning, Gen Z absorbs information in an instantaneous, non-linear way that might be new for their instructors.

    Constance Staley will host Welcome, Gen Z! Save the World, Love the Learning on Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to noon in UC 302. Registration is limited; however, students, faculty and staff can reserve one of the theater’s 96 seats for free on Event Brite.

    Staley, a communication professor, will provide information on Generation Z, along with various teaching methods and activities adapted to meeting those within Gen Z’s needs. The event will be faculty-focused; however, anyone is welcome to attend.

    “Each generation has their strengths,” said Staley. “We engage [those strength] and help them to do their best.”

    Those in Generation Z were born between 1998-2016, according to Business Insider. At UCCS, the majority of the Gen Z population at UCCS are freshmen in the class of 2021, according to Staley, who ran the Gateway Seminar Program for 25 years.

    “Get them interested. They are very motivated,” said Staley, who has sought to make her presentation engaging for young people. “This presentation will provide ways that Gen Z can love the learning they do in college.”

    Characteristics of Gen Z include an interest in social issues, increased access to technology, a heightened awareness of what they post on social media and tend to be more open-minded than other generations.

    “They are interested in how best to spend their time. They might go to college, or they might work right awar; it’s varied,” said Staley.

    Those who fall under Gen Z spend an average of eight to 10 hours on their cell phones, according to Staley. Staley suggests using imagery-heavy teaching methods and allow the student to be the teacher.

    For example, projects involving video can be one way that students and their instructors can learn new knowledge and ways of teaching, said Staley.

    “One thing faculty can do is assign students to teach a technological tool to the class,” said Staley. “Students want to get involved and help create knowledge.”

    For more information on the event, visit events.uccs.edu/event/welcome_gen_z_save_the_world_love_the_learning.