Is Your Institution Ready For Gen Z?

GenZ student

Have you noticed how the generation wars have begun to heat up on social media lately?

Poor Millennials have been picked on for their generation’s perceived failings for years, but the newest up-and-coming generation, Gen Z, has suddenly come into its own and seems to be spoiling for a fight.

With the rise of the dismissive comment “OK, Boomer,” and their unflattering nickname for Gen Xers – the Karen Generation – Gen Z has managed to start an all-out generational frenzy online.

Of course, it’s the exact same angst that every preceding generation has gone through – it’s just that this generation has the tools and the know-how to get their thoughts and feelings out there like never before, as well as the expectation – and reality – of being listened to by a limitless online audience.

And it’s precisely that difference that colleges and universities need to cater to, in order to attract this new generation to their institutions.  

Boomers were still completely analog in college, and Gen Xers first experienced the internet as young adults. But Millennials were digital natives, growing up with the internet, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that campus IT changes made for them would still apply to Generation Z. 

But you’d be wrong.

Gen Z takes being a digital native one step further. They were born into a world of smartphones, social media, and remote workers, and they’ve been using smartboards, tablets, flipped classrooms and other online learning environments since they started school. They are used to being constantly connected, and to having instant access to any and all content or tools they need, no matter where they are. They have grown up within a completely seamless tech landscape, in which real-world interaction and online interaction are interchangeable.  

As they make the transition to college, they expect the tech on campus to keep pace with what they’re used to – and not only to keep pace, but to outstrip whatever their local high school had to offer. 

What does that mean for your institution?

  • It means every app, tool, and platform your students need to access must be mobile responsive. 
  • It means you need platforms that make it easy for professors to share the content from their classes – from syllabi and lecture outlines to actual live streams or audio recordings of classes for those who are absent.  
  • It means your school needs to meet the expectation of this generation that everything they need to succeed is always at their fingertips.

Of course, universities have a much more complex IT ecosystem than your students’ old high schools. And that can make some of these asks seem impossible, or at least impractical – especially when you take integration needs into consideration.

But that’s where N2N’s Illuminate platform comes in.

Illuminate makes it easy for you to integrate any new apps, databases, or platforms with your existing systems, so that adapting with agility to the demands of the next generation is a snap.

No custom coding needed. You just point Illuminate to the new app’s APIs, navigate the configuration forms, and get seamless communication with your entire SIS ecosystem – seamless being the key word here. Exactly the experience Gen Z expects – and exactly what you need to affordably, quickly, and easily ramp up your campus IT. 

Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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