Sam Blyth

The next generation of students — dubbed Generation Z, or sometimes Zoomers — will soon be flooding into higher and further education. Millennials may be tech savvy, but Gen Z students are in a different league - they’re tech natives, with many spending their entire lives immersed in a digital world.

To engage these students effectively, educators may need to adapt their pedagogical approaches — for example, by adding more video content to the curricula. But just adding interactive material, or giving devices to all students, may not be enough to get the best outcomes from this new generation.

So how do educators best cater for Generation Z? Let’s take a look.

Tailored services for individual needs

Generation Z is accustomed to personalising everything, from Netflix shows to their barista-designed coffee choices. A range of options are at the touch of a button, and brands are clamouring to engage the newest generation of customers with ‘tailor made’ products and services. It’s unsurprising then, that there is a pervasive expectation that consumers will be able to pick and choose what they want (and, just as important, what they don’t want). And, these attitudes will inevitably influence how they view their education.

Institutions are quick to adapt to this trend. A recent report that found 66 per cent of higher education leaders are already researching the use of artificial intelligence to analyse student data in order to personalise learning.

And it’s here where learning management platforms are making a real difference. Harnessing tools like Canvas, educators can glean real-time insights into how students are engaging with their learning, allowing them to adapt and tailor programmes to meet their individual needs.

Put students in the driving seat

Student-centred learning isn’t a new concept, but it’s a particularly powerful one for our Gen Z learners.

On the most basic level, collaboration technologies (including interactive whiteboards and associated mobile device apps) are making it easier to create engaging, interactive experiences for learners. But more fundamentally, educators are working to let students control their learning journey - deciding how, where and when to engage with course material, and to learn in a way that suits them best.

Online learning has made a real difference here - allowing students to consume course materials at their own pace. The very best learning management platforms allow educators to tailor course content (and even the medium it’s presented in) according to student preferences and needs, and help both students and teachers track their progress closely.

Getting the most from the tech

Although Gen Z may be tech experts in many areas, particularly in consumer technology there is some work to do in teaching them about the hardware, software and systems likely to be used in the workplace.

According to the World Economic Forum, the skills considered vital for workplace success are rapidly changing thanks to the rise of automation (no doubt accelerated by the impact of Covid-19). The WEF says that educators will have a role to play in ensuring Gen Z students are familiar with workforce productivity applications. As graduates, they’ll need to be proficient in programming and computer hardware use, as well as adapting these basics to a variety of digital contexts.

In addition, teaching information literacy — the ability to determine when information is credible — is a good first step toward developing responsible digital citizens and employees. Content creation is another great avenue. Letting students create their own videos or programs is an engaging way to help Gen Z understand, from the ground up, what authentic digital content looks like.

So, as Zoomers increasingly reach higher and further education and as personalized learning becomes more commonplace, these new approaches to learning will become less of a novelty and more of a necessity. Colleges that want to stay ahead of the curve should start now to get to know this next generation of learners and develop the skills they’ll need to support them.

Sam Blyth, Senior Sales Director, Education – EMEA, Instructure

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

#SkillsWorldLive Video: Why is it important to have diversity in apprenticeships?

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page