The potential Blended Learning for digital natives compared to previous generations
It seems pure common sense to assign new generations the role of transforming business through technology. They have simply not known anything else. We are referring to the members of the so-called Generation Z (born between 1994 and 2009), and Millennials (born between 1980 and 1994). The rest of us can – and should – update our skills. In fact, we also specialize, innovate and even make technology our way of life, beyond a tool in our own way. That is why the potential of Blended Learning is so attractive.
Yet, this process will undoubtedly have required considerable dedication, an increasingly valued time, and an intellectual demand that is far from the natural assimilation of knowledge or processes typical of Millennials and Zeds. In short, the component of effort that requires “another way of doing things.” This is what differentiates Millennials and Generation Z. They are digital by nature. Others have simply made the leap.
New generations, new training methods
This circumstance not only affects their professional future (basically, they develop more of an entrepreneur profile than that of an employee), but also their training. They value it more than any other generation: according to the Millennials at work study by PwC, for 47% of Millennials, training opportunities are very important when they choose a project and company. On the other hand, 48% of users who turn to online training to learn something new are Millennials. Ultimately, the potential for companies specializing in eLearning is enormous.
However, we are facing a particularly demanding and selective student body, both in the areas of learning and in the methodologies used. In fact, in many cases, the methodology is so innovative that it is part of the learning itself. And if we are looking for methods related to the preferences of Millennials and Generation Z, we must stop and look at Elearning. Specifically, Blended Learning.
Why does Blended Learning connect with Millennials and Generation Z? What does it contribute beyond training and knowledge? We would like to propose some reasons.
5 Blended Learning Factors Valued by Millennials and Generation Z
#1. Agility, speed, immediacy.
There is something characteristic of Millennials and Generation Z that determines their preferences, both in the learning processes and in their professional activity: for better or for worse, access to new technologies has accustomed them to getting what they want when they want it. Patience is not their strong suit. That’s why, in addition to face-to-face classes, Blended Learning provides various communication tools to resolve doubts, suggestions, or propose new approaches almost immediately. On the other hand, methodologies based on connectivity facilitate quick and intuitive access to the information that learning requires.
#2. Experiential learning.
Millennials and Generation Z are not only looking for a job, but also a professional activity that allows them to enjoy their working hours and grow professionally, hence their high rate of entrepreneurship. They apply this same vocational mentality when choosing their training: they do not only seek to acquire knowledge, but to assimilate it in a unique way, through an experience in which the methodology itself helps them have fun. What does Blended Learning provide in this regard?
On the one hand, Learning by doing; practical activity environments focused by teachers that guide, motivate and dynamize the learning processes. On the other hand, educational platforms that incorporate blended methodologies offer a diversity of content and tools that make training a living, open and especially entertaining experience.
#3. Collaborative learning.
Both Millennials and Generation Z have developed an almost instinctive tendency toward socialization. They are especially receptive to the opinions, approaches and knowledge of others. They value them as much or more than their own. Hence, they see a source of knowledge in other people. On the other hand, new technologies have fostered a creative attitude that needs to be shared.
In this context, collaborative learning is one of the pillars of the potential of Blended Learning. Their ability to encourage participation, contribute new points of view, information, content, or generate a sense of commitment to the work group allows them to make the potential and abilities of each student contribute to others.
Millennials and Generation Z are the antithesis of routine. They flee from traditional training models based on schedules, closed content and the usually passive presence of the student. They look for a reference to guide their training, but above all, they look for flexibility. They own their time. If they choose when and how to access their training, it improves their predisposition and, therefore, their results. With Blended Learning, any time is a good time to make progress in your learning.
We cannot try to stop a generation full of initiatives, plans and ideas. Their day to day revolves around a tablet or smartphone. Specialized training entities that want to capture their attention must offer them facilities to access the course from any device. This is the case in the online environment of Blended Learning through generally easy, fast and secure access.
Growing up with Millennials and Generation Z
In short, the potential of Blended Learning makes it the preferred option to respond to the training expectations sought by Millennials and Generation Z. Not only because of what it offers today, but because it is a living learning methodology, in constant evolution, with an enormous potential to grow and adapt to the requirements of professions that we do not even know yet.