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Understanding and Teaching the Digital Generation

Instructor: Derek Hughes
Teaching in the 21st century means that your students belong to the digital generation. These students learn in different ways and this lesson will help you teach and understand them better.

The Digital Generation

Screens, information, and speed. These three words define how students in the 21st century are used to interacting with the world. These students, sometimes referred to as the digital generation are students who are growing up constantly connected to the world around them through smartphones, tablets, and computers. Because of this hyperconnectivity, your students will learn differently than you did. It's important that you understand how they learn and interact with the world in order to teach more effectively.

This lesson will help you understand the digital generation and how your teaching should change and adapt to their needs. Members of the digital generation thrive on creative and engaging activities, varied sources of information, and a more energetic environment.

Engaging Work

Imagine coming from a place where you constantly have something enjoyable to do and having to enter a classroom where you are expected to sit still and engage in boring, monotonous schoolwork. Members of the digital generation have been exposed to almost constant stimulation from televisions, smartphones, tablets, and computers. Your teaching must aim to match that constant stimulation, or else you run the risk of losing student interest and engagement.

Though this may seem a momentous task, engaging your students only requires some creative lesson planning and exciting activities. If your lessons are full of interesting activities that require different skills and thought processes, your students might not miss their various screens throughout the school day.

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