3 Ways to Use Tech to Empower Gen Z for Success

Vol. 14 No. 6

academicleadership eletter Vol15 No6 classroomtech

The World Economic Forum estimates that 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. There’s no doubt that technology is driving this staggering evolution and it will continue to play an integral role in the lives of future generations.

It’s the responsibility of educators and administrators to best prepare students for a quickly changing job market, starting with the intersection of technology and education. Gen Z is the first to have had access to mobile devices and 24/7 connectivity for the majority of their lives. They’re very comfortable and, in fact accustomed to, using a smartphone or laptop and have an innate desire to learn using digital tools.

As technology permeates every aspect of our lives, we’ve compiled three ways educators and administrators can use technology to set Gen Z up for success.

  1. Create a culture of data. ISM believes that private-independent schools should be mission-driven and design personalized school curricula in-house to suit student needs. However, collecting data to assess what’s working and what isn’t can also be beneficial. This could be in the form of assessing comprehension through electronic question-and-answer sessions in the classroom or administrators surveying constituents for input when making school-wide decisions. It’s important to note that this data should be used only to compare the school to its own expectations, not to measure it against the standards of an arbitrary body, and in conjunction with common sense and a focus on the mission. But data can help faculty, staff, and administration see what’s working and what isn’t for students and families, and adjust accordingly.
  2. Empower student connection. Technology can facilitate student connection—both to each other and to learning materials as well as across subjects and disciplines. Topics in history and science don’t exist in a silo—They’re connected to math, engineering, literature, and art. Technology allows students to understand how these subject areas are connected through the use of interactive games, maps, graphs, and videos on tablets and computers. Students can also interact with children from around the world through forums and conferencing. Technology helps foster connections and build critical-thinking and collaboration skills that will be essential for students’ future careers.
  3. Encourage technology-focused professional development. Educators who understand the available technology and are given necessary training are best suited to help students succeed with tech. Ensure faculty and staff are provided with adequate resources to evolve their educational programs. Provide them with different ways to learn, such as in-person professional development and online modules, and continually follow up to see if they need assistance.

This is an extraordinary time. Technology is changing how we work together and communicate with the world around us. Gen Z is the first to be fully immersed in a technology-driven world and these tips can help them succeed in this new reality.

Additional ISM Resources:
The Source for Private School News Vol. 10 No. 2 Educating Kids About Social Media—21st Century Technology in the Classroom
The Source for Private School News Vol. 16 No. 4 Stretch Your Technology Hands

Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 28 No. 8 Technology and Your Faculty's Professional Development
Vol. 35 No. 3 The 21st Century School: Curriculum and Technology
I&P Vol. 39 No. 13 Develop a ‘Culture of Data’ in Your School for Strategic, Data-Driven Decision-Making

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