We use a variety of nicknames to refer to the generation in the education system today. Whether we call them post-millennials, Generation Z or iGeneration, these kids were born somewhere between the mid nineteen-nineties and the early-2000s. What sets their generation apart from the rest of us is their early, widespread exposure to and use of later generation devices and the Internet. These kids were “born” tech-savvy. Interacting on social media plays an important role in the way they socialise and they’ll beat us to it when it comes to finding any kind of information but you’ll rarely see them spontaneously reaching for a reference book. There’s growing consensus that growing up in the recession has given this generation a sense of unsettlement. Some teachers go as far as calling it apathy.
Educationalist Sir Ken Robinson refers to a “big problem of disengagement”, also saying that “every student who drops out of school has a reason for it” and explains how education can dislocate individuals from their natural talents. When he says that a learning revolution is needed, it resonates because the system – as it is today – was built in an era with a completely different outlook compared to the one in which Generation Z will soon be coming of age.
The traditional method – a.k.a “chalk and talk” – is now subpar when compared to innovative teaching methods available in education today. Ensuring school-related content is accessible to all students is now commonly considered a must.
Text to speech improves word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, accuracy, and recall. The consequence of using TTS solutions in education is also increased motivation and confidence.
Ivona Text to Speech software is easily deployed in all educational solutions, broadening the reach of school content by providing course material, lessons, and anything text-based – in lifelike, easy to understand voices in a wide array of languages that students can engage with anytime, anywhere. Giving students personalised, multimodal learning solutions means putting them in an active, empowered position, letting them get creative with their learning content so they can enjoy learning rather than have to fulfil tasks mechanically. It is demonstrated that students learn better if they repeatedly listen to lesson material in their own time, alternating shorter focused learning with other activities they are passionate about. They engage and learn best when they are in control and given the possibility to choose their learning material according to their individual areas of interest, when they prefer to. With geographic mobility, many students are not mother tongue speakers of their school’s official language. Educational solutions with multilingual TTS software play a key role in these cases too.
Here are some examples of new teaching approaches that are having positive impacts on Generation Z learners:
This approach involves repeating condensed content three times, with two 10-minute breaks during which students do physical activities. With this approach, students are encouraged to quickly switch activities, alternating elements such as PowerPoint presentations with team sports. This method apparently gives great results, because it promotes the generation of brain cell connections, boosting kids’ capacities to memorise knowledge. It also helps kids relax because they are tackling the syllabus in smaller portions so they don’t need to worry about taking massive amounts of content on board. This is about learning before moving on to another activity.
This approach provides in-depth sessions on subjects students find the most difficult. Some repeat and consolidate while others learn. This method eliminates student breaking point – no more hours spent home alone struggling on tricky subjects. Another way for teachers to facilitate learning is holding fast-track weeks – e.g. a week dedicated to maths or English can help clarify subjects faster. This approach avoids losing the time required to introduce and wrap up different subjects, get students to tune into them, etc.
Another approach – known as “engagement” – encourages students to engage with the world outside school, so they learn from concrete examples in different contexts (e.g. internships in business, social spheres, etc.). A group of Business Studies students from one institution attended meetings on company premises in order to see how the things they were learning applied to the real world. Multiple sessions were held and all students were required to wear business attire. In this approach, the idea is to get students engaged and to connect their learning to the professional world. Before this method was introduced, only 40 percent of students achieved grades of A-C across both years 10 and 11 in the institution involved in this exercise. Under the new teaching method, the institution reported that numbers had shot up to a massive 91 percent of students achieving A-Cs in years 10 and year 11.
Learning solutions that include Ivona Text to Speech software bring a lifelike voice to numerous new teaching methods, improving the quality of education and involving students with more engaging and relevant learning experiences. ReadSpeaker delivers IVONA’s proven TTS solutions, with 51 unique text-to-speech voices in 22 major languages. IVONA Text to Speech is easy to implement, versatile, and designed to work with the most popular devices on the market to power engagement in today’s changing education landscape.