The new Gen Z survey has been recently, showing the educational and technological expectations of middle and high school students from across the United States.
Those in Generation Z include students born between the mid/late 1990s and early 2000s — the generation to come after Millennials. While the oldest members of the generation are currently in high school or college, the survey found they hold ambitious plans for their future, including further education, careers, and lives in general.
The survey, "Getting to Know Gen Z," found that students of today are seeking solid mobile-learning plans for higher education.
"These initial insights are a springboard for colleges and universities to begin understanding the mindset of Gen Z as they prepare for their future, focusing specifically on their aspirations, college expectations and use of educational technology for their academic journey ahead," states the survey's introduction.
Survey results show that the digital generation wants an "engaging, interactive learning experience," and is also looking to be "empowered to make their own decisions." The survey, taken by 1,300 students between the ages of 13 and 18 and located in 49 states, shows that students of today expect technology to be deeply involved in their educational experience.
According to the survey, students responded positively to all types of ed tech tools, with 84% saying smartboards were the most helpful. This was closely followed by "Do It Yourself Learning," digital textbooks, and websites featuring study materials, which all had student support of 81%.
The top websites and tools for learning were found to be Khan Academy, Skillshare, and Canvas.
It is not only students who found educational technology to valuable within the classroom. A recent SurveyMonkey survey, which asked hundreds of parents of students in grades K-12 about ed tech, showed more than 75% of participants felt ed tech had a positive influence on their child's ability to learn. The majority of parents said that the largest benefit is that it is both engaging and interactive, which many of Generation Z students agree are both extremely important.
The survey also found today's students to be considered "The Sharing Generation," the generation that's "All Technology All The Time," and "Born Digital."
The results of the survey all suggest that the new generation of students have strong preferences about how they learn and what they would like to gain from their educational experiences — and the survey offers colleges across the country the opportunity to find new ways to attract new students.
Although students today consider themselves to be digitally savvy, the survey suggests they would also like to be in an environment where they can share and co-create their education with their peers. The authors say that doing so allows colleges even more opportunities to connect with their students. In addition, the survey suggests that the generation's willingness to share and exchange ideas may result in additional open learning opportunities in a variety of areas, including the college bookstore and cloud based platforms.
The report is the first time that Barnes and Noble College has shared findings concerning the next generation of college students.