Neo-millennials, those born after 1995, are the most tech-savvy generation yet, spending hours every day online and regularly communicating via social networks. With technology playing such a huge part in pupils’ everyday lives, it makes sense, therefore, for teachers to bring it into the classroom.
However, while students might prefer a digital approach to learning, technology alone is not enough, and without a deeper insight into the behaviours of neo-millennials, it won’t help you to deliver that all important engagement, creativity, and critical thinking.
Variety is essential
This generation of pupils respond best to variety; they get their knowledge and experiences from a range of sources, making them natural multitaskers. Teachers have, of course, always used an assortment of methods to engage students. However, educational technology presents you with new and exciting ways to implement modern teaching methods such as collaborative learning and flipped learning.
Online videos, podcasts and digital gaming are also opening up new styles of learning, helping students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Schools across the UK are using games such as Minecraft to help with reading comprehension and maths, and The Institute of Play has highlighted the positive role of games in cognitive and social development.
Of course, not all pupils learn the same way. As such, when teaching a classroom full of students, it helps to have a variety of different means to present the course material. Empowering pupil-centred learning, technology such as ClassFlow can be used to set different questions for different pupils, depending on their ability and particular learning style.
Use technology to engage
Due to the rise of interactive apps and computer games, neo-millennials are used to receiving instant feedback on their progress, with clearly defined goals.
Educational technology delivers exactly this; facilitating active participation by pupils and instant assessment by teachers, allowing you to mark and collate responses at the moment of learning, in real-time. With the increased popularity of chat and messaging platforms, and such technology accessible in and out of the classroom, feedback can be given immediately, regardless of location, meaning both parties can get more out of the learning process.
Educational technology facilitates active participation by pupils and instant assessment by teachers tweet
It is vital to ensure that students are engaging with technology to the best of their ability; read more about this in our article ‘5 ways of using tech to engage students’.
Collaboration leads to creativity
This generation is incredibly socially-inclined and neo-millennials are constantly sharing information via smartphones and apps such as Snapchat.
Capitalising on this spirit of collaboration, you can use technology to develop deep and meaningful co-operation in the classroom. What’s more, by creating a more connected classroom and introducing interactive team-based tasks, you can combine problem-solving skills with creativity and innovation – leading to the type of learning your pupils crave.
Beyond the classroom
With technology available at home as well as in the classroom, the teacher-pupil relationship is no longer confined to lesson times alone. For example, hosted online, ClassFlow delivers content that students can access anytime, anywhere; lending itself to flipped learning teaching methods.
Likewise, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative allows children to use technology the way they do at home, better reflecting their life outside the classroom and facilitating learning in the most natural way for them.
More active learning
Research shows that neo-millennials have an attention span of just eight seconds. With minds that process information at a quicker pace than previous generations, they also perform better when teachers connect lessons to real-life, with relevant and relatable points that are made straight away, rather than hidden among a host of other information.
Technology can help you to do this, with tools such as 3D printing, robotics, coding, games, and virtual and augmented reality bringing designs and ideas to life.
Visual and social language
Neo-millennials are visual communicators. Fans of video and image sharing applications such as Instagram and Snapchat, and regularly connecting through emojis, visuals are no longer a passive form of entertainment.
Therefore, when seeking to increase engagement with modern learners, you must include a varied use of visually-enhanced teaching methods in your lessons if you want to reach out to students in the manner they prefer.
Only by taking the time to understand how today’s younger generation learn – both in and out of the classroom – can teachers make technology a core part of the learning experience – giving your tried and trusted learning practices a new lease of life.
Created with teachers in mind, platforms such as ClassFlow help you to incorporate technology into your lessons – quickly and easily – while at the same time taking into account how today’s pupils learn.