How Parents Can Support Their 21st Century Learners

Today's students are digital natives and members of the so-called Generation "Z." They have grown up with the internet and technology, and social media tools such as Instagram and Snapchat are a part of their daily lives. This generation of learners is quite different than the one that came before them. Parents are aware that their children learn differently than they did in school, but they don't always know exactly why. What should you know about your child as a student? Below is some valuable insight into what 21st century learners are all about and how you can support your child at home:

Technology is integrated into their lives. Children today spend a great deal of time online, whether that's at school or through smartphone devices. They are skilled multi-taskers who need to be engaged with a variety of teaching techniques in the classroom. You can expect that your child will become an efficient and adept researcher as he or she grows older too.

Problem solving is active. Children today have grown up in a dynamic, globalized world, and thus, are used to thinking on their toes. When it comes to school, this translates into creativity and deeper thinking. You can foster your child's learning by encouraging him or her to brainstorm solutions and think through potential ways to improve those solutions.

They are being taught essential 21st century skills. In today's information-based economy, education researchers have identified the skills that the future generation needs to achieve success in their careers. Those skills include problem-solving in the face of uncertainty, critical thinking and leadership. Your child is certainly media and technology savvy, but he or she is also entering a rapidly changing workforce that requires flexibility and creativity. Nurture those assets whenever possible.

They move quickly. The classroom today is largely a student-centered learning environment. Students prefer active learning and projects that engage them in material. They are often self-starters and very capable of managing ambiguity, yet they seek to understand the relevance of what they learn as well. As you guide your child, keep these tendencies in mind.

They are used to working in teams. Thanks to the social networks in which today's children frequently interact, students are highly collaborative and used to learning alongside their peers. Encourage your child to share what he or she learns with you and others. Doing so helps your child remember and retain, and reinforces the approach of his or her teacher.

Your job as a parent is to support your child's educational journey and guide him or her toward independence and success—a job that is much easier to do when you have a good understanding of what your child is learning at school and how he or she learns best. If you need help, call Huntington, we understand the unique traits of students today and have adapted our learning programs to fit their needs and help them flourish. Whether your child is struggling in school or wants to build skills or get ahead, Huntington can help. Call 1 800 CAN LEARN today to learn more.