Who Is Gen Z and How Are the Schools Getting Them Ready?

You know all that stuff about Gen Z? How they’re digital natives, want to be entrepreneurs, that they’re into experiential learning, etc., etc., etc.?

That all comes from surveys and articles like these here on TLNT describing GenZ and how they’re different — or not — from the millennials and what it means for the workforce. All good and important, but it’s nothing like hearing it from a teacher who’s spent all the years since Gen Zers began school right there with them.

That’s just what Laura Akesson shared when she spoke to a Richmond, VA DiruptHR audience last year. Now, the Bryan Innovation Lab Academic Dean at The Steward School in Richmond, she’s taught physics and math for years and is an eyewitness to the changes in education. 

“Back in my day,” the millennial-age educator said, “Making was gluing cotton balls on construction paper. And now, making is creating something and then creating code to control it.”

So when those surveys talk about Gen Z as digital natives and learning by doing, you know it means way more than kids playing around with a smartphone.

In a fast and furious delivery, Akesson serves up example and plenty of descriptions of how education is shaping the next generation of workers and how education is evolving.

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“Is your company ready for the talent that is coming and at your doorstep?” she asks. “And do you know that this talent is discerning and they’ll know if you’re ready?”

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