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Minnesota Personalized Learning Summit: David and Jonah Stillman GenZ Keynote

David and Jonah Stillman were the "Father-Son" keynote on Day 2 of the Minnesota Personalized Learning Summit. David is a generational expert, and co-author of "When Generations Colide." They have teamed on a new book called, "Gen Z @ Work."
They have developed a company GenZ Guru, designed to interact with those born between 1995 and 2012.

They are concerned that educators are not focused on "GenZ" and assume that they are Millennials. 
This is similar to when society treated GenX'ers like Baby Boomers.

David shared a story of when he and his son were supposed to go to a meeting, and Jonah showed up via Skype, when David thought he would be there in person. Using the tool, they polled the audience. 51% thought David was right.

In order to get to know GenZ we need to look at key influences:

Parenting- GenZ kids have a tight relationship with their parents, but they were raised differently than Millennials. Millennials were given participation rewards and stickers for doing well.
GenX parents don't believe in this.

David played "Eye of the Tiger" before Jonah's T-ball game. 

GenZ is similar to Boomers in that they are pretty competitive.

Technology-91% of GenZ says that tech sophisticaton impacts their desire to work at a company. However, GenZ is much more private. Millennials were very public, launching Facebook. GenZ is much more private, using Snapchat instead. In order to connect with this generation, they need to use the platform that they are using. They are knowledge horders, similar to Boomers when they neared retirement, that they felt information kept them relevant. 
We need to teach kids what is private and what needs to be shared.
New office space that is Collaborative is geared toward Millennials, but 35% of GenZ would prefer sharing socks with someone to sharing an office with someone. They also would rather avoid group work.

Recession-The median net worth of GenX fell by 45% during the recession. The number one concern of GenZ is the economy. Look at the entertainment industry. Millennials were given Harry Potter. GenZ was given "The Hunger Games." GenZ is in "survival mode." What do they need to survive?
75% believe that there are multiple paths to success besides college. 
67% say their top concern is what career they want prior to going to college. Boomers thought college was where you figured it out. 

Impacts on Education
Capstone programs, Post Secondary Options allow for more personalized, and connected to the real world. 
This helps engage GenZ students. 
61% of GenZ is willing to stay with a company for 10 years. Loyalty is back on the table.

Traits of GenZ (There are 4 more in their book.)

The line between the physical and digital world is blurred and in many cases the same. Pokemon Go is an example. The real and physical world overlaps. 50% of GenZ believes an online degree is the same as traditional. True digital natives. They aren't as excited about new products as GenX or Boomers, it is just expected that something like this would happen. Difference between expecting technology and accepting it. For the first time in history, the youngest generation is the authority and most skilled on tech.

Literacy-"This generation can't write well! Thinking visually in symbols is how they communicate. Emoji's 

The crying emoji was the word of the year.  
The preferred mode of communication in the work place, 84% said face-to-face communication! Even if you are on Skype, they consider it to be face to face.

GenZ wants personalized custom options. 

Iowa State Admissions office personalized acceptance.

Between 2000 and 2010 there was a 15% increase in students developing their own majors. This will make it harder for workplaces to compare two candidates. 
57% want to customize their job description and 62% would like to customize their own career path. 
Look at how Gen Z customizes their news. This means that the filter bubble world causes people to only hear their view point. Stillman argues that it is important to expose students to multiple view points in the classroom.

FOMO: Fear of Missing Out
65% of Gen Z sleep with their smartphones near their bed. 
They want to know what is happening as soon as possible. When they can't, they get FOMO, which is now a diagnosed anxiety. Working WIFI is more important than a working bathroom!
Jonah told the story of a meeting where he took notes on his phone and was told to put it away. 
They argued that in the classroom, we need to negotiate access. 
Gen Z is also pushing the pace of career, as 75% would like to have multiple roles within one place of employment. 
Gen Z's attention span has been defined as 8 seconds. Companies are struggling with this. Teaching this generation the difference between a fad and a true trend.

Teachers need to push the value of "ruminating on something." Valuing thinking, brainstorming, and process is important.
Because of FOMO, keeping kids in the loop is important. Increasing access to content and feedback is important. Having faster formative feedback is crucial. 

Not ALL FOMO is bad. GenZ doesn't fear failure, but they do fear not getting the opportunity to try!

In the Q and A, they noted that Gen Z students like being mentored, but also like to mentor.
Digital detox for an hour or two is great, but not for months.
Millennial parenting, getting screens out of the car is helping with this.

Millennials want meaning in their job, $ was 6. For Gen Z, money is number one on the list.

Embrace the differences in generations, AND know what makes them tick!


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