Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Trainer Coaching: Catering To Gen Z And Past

How teacher training must include technology

Millennials were in their teens when the first iPhone hit the market. Generation Z, on the other hand, grew up using their parents’ smartphone before they were 3 years old! Needless to say, this technology has influenced the way this generation interacts and learns. When it comes to personality and behavior, Gen Z is much more serious and success-oriented. The latter, they believe, can be achieved through technological solutions. For this reason, the educational offer must continue to develop. This is to keep pace with the changing needs and behaviors of this generation. And the ones that will come next.

What teaching in Generation Z requires

There are three basic ways that education needs to be tailored to suit current and future generations of students.

1. Personalization of learning

Personalization doesn’t necessarily mean that the learning path has to be customized for each student. It’s the flexibility to deliver personalized learning experiences. For example, some students learn better when presented with text. Others could understand concepts more easily if they saw an explanatory video. Then there may be students who find it difficult to focus for long periods of time. Some may need motivation to continue the learning path.

For such students, the integration of interactive elements into the course material has proven successful.


We don’t need statistics to tell us that almost every young person today takes a smartphone with them wherever they go. When education includes the use of personal devices, Gen Z can be provided with much more engaging and effective learning experiences.

This generation lives from video chats and social media. By being able to use their devices to study, they are only expanding an existing habit. This can also encourage collaborative learning and peer support.

In fact, Ohio State University was giving away 11,000 iPads to its freshmen as early as 2018. The tablets were preinstalled with the university’s own digital learning platform and app. Ohio State University stated that the use of technology has been shown to improve student engagement as well as academic performance.

In addition, it helps students to save considerable expenses that would otherwise have been incurred when buying printed matter and textbooks.

3. Online assignments and assessments

Searching for online content is already a matter of course for Generation Z, as is sharing content with people of the same age online. Therefore, digital assignments, either essays or videos, are likely to be more motivating for the current generation of students. This is especially true when these assignments can be shared with classmates, peers, and others rather than just being to the teacher’s eyes. The same goes for reviews. Digital assessments are more engaging and motivating for Generation Z.

Most teachers today, however, are Generation X, if not baby boomers. These generations can still differ a little with technology and not adapt to technological innovations. Traditional teacher training does not even prepare millennial teachers for the needs of future generations for the time being.

How teacher training needs to change

The reality is that teaching in the 21st century requires some additional skills. This is to take into account the changing needs of students. Aside from the inclusion of technology, education today is more focused on professional development. In this way, the students are largely ready for work by the time they graduate.

In addition, critical thinking, constructive problem solving, self-directed learning and task completion along with effective collaboration and communication are crucial soft skills that must be taught if we want students to be ready for the real world.

This underlines the need for effective professional development for teachers. In doing so, “they learn and refine the pedagogy needed to teach these skills,” according to a recent report from the Learning Policy Institute. Teacher training therefore needs to evolve to include some key elements.

Learn how to learn

Before we learn to teach, we must first learn how to learn. This can help teachers provide students with the right support and motivation. It also helps us to recognize that not all subjects or even concepts within a subject are easy to understand for everyone.

The one-size-fits-all approach no longer works. In fact, the subject continues to evolve over time. A teacher who has mastered the ability to learn will also be open and motivated to continue to improve their lifelong knowledge. Regardless of what further training opportunities the school system offers, the individual will look for learning opportunities.

Learning of teaching skills

While many consider this an obvious part of teacher training, it really isn’t. At least not in the practical sense of what is needed today and in the future.

The art of explaining concepts as simply and clearly as possible, demonstrating how things are done, can lead to better learning outcomes for students. The ability to perceive student needs and provide timely support is also a skill. In fact, all teachers, new or experienced, need time and space to develop their skills. Your audience is constantly evolving, so training needs to be an on-going process and not just for those preparing for a career. The education system must take into account professional development through regular training.

Adapting to a changing role

Teachers today have also evolved from being the source of all information for students. They are now mentors who will teach the students the basics and provide them with the resources to get more information.

So teachers need to move from teaching in the classroom, where students are passive containers, to making the whole experience more interactive. This is where a blended learning approach can help, which has been shown to involve the students better. This does not mean that teachers do not need to have a solid foundation in the subject they teach. This means that teacher training should include training in educational technology. One that enriches the student’s learning experience.

Of course, there are many other challenges that teacher training must address. Last but not least, how to involve parents in the process or how to motivate students.

Teachers prepare entire generations to lead the world, so they must first learn to be at the forefront of teaching and learning effectively.

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