Generation Z: Have you heard of it? No, it’s not a teen-drama/Zombie crossover, though DIBS, I’ll go ahead and start writing that. Generation Z refers to the people born right after Millennials, and their primary attribute is their comfort with technology. These are the kids who only know a life with the Internet, who know tablet screens to be the norm, and became accustomed to asking about a Wi-Fi password before where a bathroom might be located. It might seem easy to roll your eyes at this group, perhaps the way everyone is still reacting to Millennials, but an entire generation of people who know and love technology is actually pretty cool.
Here’s the thing, though: Sometimes Gen-Z knows technology a little too well, and their unsuspecting aunts, uncles, and parents turn to them first before they turn to the experts. We encounter this all the time.
Now don’t get me wrong, we love it when you know what you want in your customized business simulation or gamified training. But while the young(er) people in your life might know what’s cool, the bottom line is, we’re the ones who know how to make it.
The general assumptions are that kids are good with technology, they make it look easy, and they are always on their tablets or computers looking real comfortable playing complex-looking video games. So it should be easy for them to help you make a simple e-learning course, right?
Thing is: It’s not easy. A lot of thought and effort goes into making something looks, and if you’ve ever tried to keep up a conversation longer than 10 minutes with your 14-year-old nephew, you’d see that focus isn’t his strong suit. Your nephew knows how to use technology. He might even know how to write computer code. But there's a lot more to developing engaging and effective online learning than a competent programmer.
It’s like saying, “I like movies, so that means I must be able to make a movie.” Well, that sounds good, but how about the lighting, sound, editing, make-up, cinematography, trailers, sets, and the craft services? And that’s just a small portion of what goes into making a movie. Just because we like something, doesn’t mean we know how to make it.
Is your nephew smart? We’re sure he is. And as soon as that acne clears up, he’ll probably be pretty handsome, too. But until he has 18 years of experience building custom, award-winning e-learning courses, leave that to the experts--us.