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Reaching Out to Generation Z: Learning How They Learn

You can read about it in Forbes, and you can read about it on The Huffington Post. You can read about it on many of the top blogs covering higher education. You can even read about in in a study conducted by Barnes & Noble to help marketing execs understand their newest customers.

Generation Z — people born between 1996 and 2011 — are a generation unlike any other. This unique cohort is particularly important to university administrators, because they make up the bulk of today’s college students.

So… Who is Generation Z?

Every generation has its own unique characteristics and values, but this latest generation has grown up in a distinctly chaotic world. In a brief period of time, Gen Zer’s have already witnessed widespread economic fluctuation and significant technological disruption. This has driven Gen Z to favor adaptability — partly to survive, partly just to stay sane. They’re solution-driven.

But they won’t accept just any solution. Generation Z is highly skeptical. Fact-checking is a daily routine for them. As a community, they’re generally more practical than the generation that preceded it. As individuals, they’re not afraid to invest time or money into a given experience or purchase, but they demand a high return when they do.

Branding and sales gurus are elbow-deep studying and analyzing Generation Z, revising their marketing campaigns and modifying their product lines to appeal to this rising consumer group. Administrators in higher education have no choice but to follow suit.

When members of Generation Z shop and compare colleges, they’ll be searching for a school with the right vibe before committing themselves as students.

Education as an Experience

Best of all, Zer’s are eager to contribute. As Gene Lewis, writing for Forbes, points out, Generation Z wants something that engages them intellectually and enables participation; they need much more than the a fancy catalog with an impressive list of offerings to impress them.

“Given the number of choices students have,” says Lewis, “Universities can no longer depend on the quality of their programs. They need to sell an experience.”

Lisa Malat, Barnes & Noble College’s VP and Chief Marketing Officer, calls generation Z the “ultimate do-it-yourselfers.” College administrators should keep Zer’s unique qualities in mind as they design and equip their campuses, says Malat: “If this is the way they live, we shouldn’t expect them to learn any differently.”

Upgrade with Clarus

By upgrading learning spaces with Clarus Glassboards, academic institutions appeal to the need for a quality experience and collaboration in today’s university student. Clarus Glassboards don’t just enable collaboration and creativity — they invite it. They’re a physical tool for people like Gen Zer’s who value communication and seamless technology.

Float, Depth, and go! Mobile glassboards combine the utility of a whiteboard with the simple elegance and durability of glass. The impressive design conveys an important message — students’ engagement is an institutional priority.

To inspire and invigorate your learning spaces, see how other universities and institutions have used glassboards in their facilities.