WHY YOUR TEENS NEED TO THINK 10 YEARS AHEAD – YOUR CHILD, YOUR CHAMPION – SERIES 4
Having interacted with young people throughout my career, I have seen that it is not just adults who have profound beliefs and perspectives. Todays’ youth are very passionate about their futures. While adults have faced challenges and major change throughout their life experience, todays’ youth are facing much more complex change at an unprecedented pace. Entire industries are being disrupted as the expansion of innovation is reaching exponential proportions.
Many parents, or adults in general, still don’t realize that our teens today are considered Generation Z or “Gen Z.” This generation is empowered with information and communication tools and has direct access to some of the best thought leaders, futurists, and influencers anywhere on the planet. As adults, we never experienced this level of real time collaboration at our finger tips. While many adults perceive todays’ youth in negative terms, I see the bright side and this lens through which I choose to engage todays’ youth is due to my daily interactions with them. For example, their mindsets are unlimited in many ways. They don’t think twice about changing an entire institution or the world in which they live. They love taking on challenges as they know they can have a real impact on their future and their broader communities.
The World Around Them—
Our past always shapes the way we see the world. When teaching students, I often think of how growing up after the invention of the automobile opened up opportunities to connect us. I recall how our mail arrived much slower without trucks. I remember speaking with my parents regarding how getting from one side of our country to the other would take months and how now it has been reduced to days by car or hours through aviation.
Todays’ teens have full access to information at their fingertips, being continuously connected, being exposed to massive innovation on an unprecedented scale. These influences and tools have forced our students to think ahead. Learning, for example, is increasing through online platforms at a breakneck pace. Moving forward, our students must understand how to learn from anywhere and at any time, online. Technological advances and gadgets are not disappearing; they will continue to get better, more powerful, more user friendly and more efficient. This new norm will create new challenges for instructors who are not up to speed. Overall this new type of learning environment will connect students to more information online than instructors could ever know and teach in the classroom. Is this information too much? 83% of AP teachers believe the amount of data available online today is overwhelming to most students.
5 Things We Can Do to Help Teens Learn for Future Success—
Make It About Them! Trying to force what we as adults think they need is one way to steer them away from learning. Testing and redundant tasks simply don’t work. If we personalize the learning this will help teens prioritize interests that will encourage more exploration in specialized careers.
Use Project Based Learning (PBL). This method helps students increase 21st-century skills that include problem-solving and team building. PBL will prepare them for the workforce.
Know that Online Courses Are Not for Everyone. Not all courses appeal to all students. For example, many students I’ve worked with feel that online classes don’t cater to beginners. Others say they can’t connect with ease; especially in under served communities where the internet access and computers may not exist. This still affords teachers, parents, mentors with a unique opportunity to build a trusted relationship in the learning progression of our youth – – face to face.
Become a Coach (as early as possible). As a parent or educator, be sure to deliver a framework for learning that puts the focus on the student not just the subject. In my 30 years of teaching I have learned to effectively connect with students in several ways —I’m relatable; the knowledge I share is relevant, and I teach it in the simplest terms possible; I focus on inspiring and empowering the students, and I make it about them.
Foster a Growth Mindset. Make education a tool to increase confidence in their ability to learn anything they want. A Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck calls this “the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems.” What I’ve discovered in my teaching career is that the more I get the student to expand their thinking and be curious, the more they will grow their overall capacity and intellect.
In thinking ahead, we must realize that standing still is not an option. The world is changing fast. Previous generations held jobs for a lifetime, but today many researchers state that Gen Z students will hold as many as 20 positions throughout their careers. As parents, educators, and mentors we must be prepared to learn new skills and ideas to be competitive – – to always keep growing.
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BIZNOVATOR is a youth empowerment platform that offers a year-round experience for young people interested in entrepreneurship, social innovation and global leadership. Through our seminars, workshops, summer camps and in school Academies, BIZNOVATOR helps young people to DISCOVER their purpose, TRANSFORM their mindset and CONNECT to their future. We have recently launched our Online Learning Platform, www.mybiznovator.com which enables young people from all over the world to experience our unique BIZNOVATOR programs. We invite you to join us!
Juan Pablo Casimiro is Founder and CEO of BIZNOVATOR. With more than 30 years of empowering youth and adults globally, Casimiro never misses a moment to teach, coach and challenge his clients to live their dreams. Casimiro was born in Dominican Republic and grew up in New York City.