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Brief Published: 8 Nov 2016

Gen Z: Craving Creativity in the Classroom

Some 76% of US students and 75% of teachers wish there was more of a focus on creativity in the classroom

Multinational software company Adobe has published Gen Z in the Classroom: Creating the Future. The survey of more than 1,000 US Gen Z students (aged 11-17) and 400+ teachers focuses on their feelings about learning, creativity and the future.

The study was released last month at Educause 2016, a conference of IT professionals and technology providers across the higher education landscape, held annually in Anaheim, California. Highlights include:

  • Creativity & Technology: Some 85% of Gen Z students said they see creativity as essential for shaping their future careers, while 93% view technological skill as key to preparedness. Around three-quarters (76%) said they wish there was more of a focus on creativity in the classroom.
  • Future Creators: When asked which classes required creativity, which prepared them for the future and which were their favourites, computers and technology or science and engineering were among the top two on the list in every category. 
    “We often think of technology as a means to an end, but for Gen Z, it’s a key to creativity and self-expression,” said Tracy Trowbridge, education programs lead at Adobe. 
    “And this makes sense – they are growing up immersed in digital modes of communication. As Gen Z moves on beyond education, they’ll need to use technology to express themselves creatively – it’s a tool, but it’s also a central mode for expression and problem solving.”

For more on this creative, tech-savvy and and entrepreneurial generation, see Gen Z: Smart Kids Take Control.