Q and A: Offline Parenting in an Online World

Friday, October 02, 2015

What are the key strategies to offline parenting in an online world?

Parents today are faced with an unprecedented challenge of raising their children to be engaged offline in a world dominated by online options. A recent study conducted by McCrindle Research showed that whilst 44% of the older generations see the benefit of technology to children in enhancing learning and productivity, two thirds (65%) said that they believe that school aged students today spend too much time on technology.

In a society where digital is default, parents often feel the tension of raising their children in these technologically saturated times yet ensuring that they have the timeless characteristics and qualities to thrive in the offline environment. Parents see firsthand the extraordinary opportunities that technology facilitates, yet their experience tells them that managing their children’s screen time and ensuring they gain life skills and social skills is also essential.

We often forget how quickly this great screen age has emerged. Facebook went public just a decade ago and the tablet devices which facilitate so much learning and interaction such as the iPad arrived just half a decade ago. While many of the benefits to this first-ever digitally-based, wif- connected, social-media driven, global generation are evident, so are some emerging challenges. 1 in 4 Australians aged 15-17 have not participated in any form of physical recreation or sport in the last 12 months and for those aged 18-24 it is 1 in 3. These “screenagers” have a propensity towards increased sedentary lifestyles and based on the current overweight trends amongst Australia’s youth, by 2027, when all of Generation Z have reached adulthood, 78% of males and 62% of females in this generation are likely to be overweight. Young people spending hours in front of screens is not new. Today’s parents averaged around 3 hours of TV time per day during their formative years. However the TV screen is a “lean back” screen and did not generate the same levels of time use, sleep impediments and addictive patterns of the portable, interactive and connected “lean forward” screens of today.

Parents are the key influencers when it comes to shaping the priorities and lifestyle habits of their children, so households where active offline activities are modelled, prioritised and encouraged are likely to see the rewards of these behaviours established in the next generation. Parents have the opportunity to encourage their children to engage in physical recreation not just virtual entertainment, in offline communities’ not just online networks, and face to face interaction not just screen-based communication. And if the modelling and encouraging is too subtle, parents ought remember that they are paying the internet and mobile accounts and they are in charge. Oh, and every modem comes with an off switch!

More on effective parenting strategies can be found in Mark McCrindle’s book The ABC of XYZ: Understanding The Global Generations.


Generation Alpha: Mark McCrindle Q & A with the New York Times

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Q. So what comes after Generation Z - and how were they named?

When I was researching my book The ABC of XYZ: Understanding the Global Generations (published in 2009) it became apparent that a new generation was about to commence and there was no name for them. So I conducted a survey (we’re researchers after all) to find out what people think the generation after Z should be called and while many names emerged, and Generation A was the most mentioned, Generation Alpha got some mentions too and so I settled on that for the title of the chapter Beyond Z: Meet Generation Alpha. It just made sense as it is in keeping with scientific nomenclature of using the Greek alphabet in lieu of the Latin and it didn’t make sense to go back to A, after all they are the first generation wholly born in the 21st Century and so they are the start of something new not a return to the old.

Q. Will these generational labels survive the test of time?

I have found from my generational research that generic labels rather than descriptive ones are likely to last. Names like the Baby Boomers, which describe a unique demographic phenomenon at the birth of a generation, or even Millennials, based on the timing when the leading edge were coming of age, are aberrations. A label like Gen X, Gen Z and Gen Alpha provide a blank canvas on which a generation can create their own identity rather than have a descriptive label, relevant for just a segment of the cohort or for a period of time, pinned on them. And while some Gen Xers bemoan that label, for a while there it was “slackers” and “baby busters”, and labels like “latch key kids” and “the MTV generation” as they were also called seem ridiculous for this generation turning 50 this year. Similarly for the Millennials or Gen Y- labels like “the dot com kids” and “the iPod generation” are short-sighted.

Read Mark’s interview in The New York Times here.

Q. Are companies and marketers already starting to focus on this demographic?

There are more than 2.5 million Gen Alphas born globally every week. When they have all been born (2025) they will number almost 2 billion. They start school next year and will be the most formally educated generation ever, the most technology supplied generation ever, and globally the wealthiest generation ever. They will comprise the largest generation of middle class consumers our world has ever seen and they are also “upagers” – older younger and influencing parental purchasing earlier and so it is no surprise that marketers are trying to better understand and prepare for this generation.

Q. How do you try to gather intelligence about a group of people this young?

We can learn a fair bit about them by analysing some key area starting with the demographics which gives us some forward forecasts: age of parents (older), cultural mix (more diverse), socioeconomics (slightly wealthier), family size (smaller), life expectancy (longer). Then there is the research of their parents, the Millennials (or Generation Y) which gives us a sense of how they will be raised (moving more frequently, career changing, materially endowed, technologically supplied, outsourcing aspects of parenting such as child care etc). Finally there is the analysis of the youngsters themselves and their formative years and we can learn a lot from this too (app-based play, increased screen time, shorter attention spans, digital literacy but less social formation etc).

Q. Technology was obviously a defining factor for Generation Y and has been even more so for Generation Z. How much more tech-intensive can the lives of Generation Alpha possibly become and what might be the consequences?

Generation Alpha are part of an unintentional global experiment where screens are placed in front of them from the youngest age as pacifiers, entertainers and educational aids. This great screenage in which we are all living has bigger impacts on the generation exposed to such screen saturation during their formative years. They began being born in 2010, the year the iPad was launched, Instagram was created and App was the word of the year and so have been raised as screenagers to a greater extent than the fixed screens of the past could facilitate. For this reason we also call them Generation Glass because the glass that they interact on now and will wear on their wrist, as glasses on their face, that will be on the Head Up Display of the car they learn to drive on, or the interactive school desk where they learn will transform how they work, shop, learn, connect and play. We were raised in a world where glass was something you looked through but for them it is something you look at. For us it was “hands off the glass” but for this kinaesthetic generation, glass is a hands on medium. Not since Gutenberg transformed the utility of paper with his printing press in the 15th Century has a medium been so transformed for learning and communication purposes as glass- and it has happened in the lifetime of Generation Alpha.

Read Mark’s interview in The New York Times here.


What are some other social factors, beyond technology that seem likely to shape the Generation Alpha identity?

They are upagers in many ways: physical maturity is on setting earlier so adolescence for them will begin earlier- but beyond the physical, social, psychological, educational, commercial sophistication begins earlier- which can have negative as well as positive consequences. Interestingly for them while adolescence begins earlier, it extends later. The adult life stage, once measured by marriage, children, mortgage and career is being pushed back. This generation will stay in education longer, start their earning years later and so stay at home with their parents later than was previously the case. The role of parents therefore spans a longer age range- often still with the adult kids at home even into their late 20’s. This generation will no doubt stay with this trend and in Australia we’ve labelled the stay at home 20-somethings the KIPPERS which stands for Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings!

What comes after Generation Alpha?

Generational definitions are most useful when they span a set age range and so allow meaningful comparisons across generations. That is why we define the generations by the following years of birth:

Baby Boomers: 1946-1964

Generation X: 1965-1979

Generation Y (Millennials) 1980-1994

Generation Z: 1995-2009

Generation Alpha: 2010-2024

And so it follows that Generation Beta will be 2025-2039.

If the nomenclature sticks then we will afterwards have Generation Gamma and Generation Delta etc but we won’t be getting there until the second half of the 21st Century so there is plenty of time to reflect on the labels!

Read Mark’s interview in The New York Times here.


ABOUT MARK MCCRINDLE

Mark McCrindle is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations.

Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair.

His research firm counts amongst its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and his highly valued reports and infographics have developed his regard as a data scientist, demographer, futurist and social commentator.

Latest media commentary

Monday, June 15, 2015

As Australia’s leading social researchers, the senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary. From demographic analysis and future forecasts, to communication of key research findings and the identification of social trends, at McCrindle we are passionate about communicating insights in clear, accessible and useable ways.

Here are some the most recent media pieces our research and team have been cited in:


What will adulthood be like for Generation Z?

“McCrindle – whose business is analysing generational trends and forecasts – says generation Z is characterised by five key terms. They are global," through the possibilities of technology, and through pop culture -–movies, music, brands and language changes make their way around the world more quickly and thoroughly than ever before. They are "digital," thanks to the devices through which they live their lives. This generation is distinctly "social" because it gets a great deal of information not from experts but from peers, largely through social media. They are highly "mobile" in the fluidity of their work and housing. And they are uniquely "visual: in terms of how they process their information: YouTube is their search engine of choice, because "they don't want to read an article about something, they want to watch a video about something."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Treechangers flee city for a cheaper home

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said moving to regional areas was now a viable option for buyers who had been priced out to Sydney’s fringes.

“For that extra bit of distance of living in a region, particularly if they can get a job there, someone would cut down on the commute time into the CBD or into Sydney from where they are in the outer ring suburbs,” Mr McCrindle said.

He added that an influx of new developments and infrastructure being built in regional areas was making them more attractive and had contributed to a change in attitude from Sydneysiders, who are now more open to ’going bush’.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


More than a fashion choice, the everyday aesthetics of tattooing

According to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, 22 per cent of Australian men and 29 per cent of women aged 20 to 29 have at least one tattoo.

In a 2013 survey conducted by Sydney-based McCrindle Research, a third of people with tattoos regretted them to some extent, and 14 per cent had looked into or started the removal process. Laser removal has become cheaper and more readily available, but there are serious safety concerns around cheap lasers, poorly-trained operators and the risk of serious burns and scars to clients.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


IVF isn’t a fix-all for those choosing to delay adulthood

From a societal point of view, what worries me is what demographer and social commentator Mark McCrindle refers to as the "safety net syndrome" – the perception held that someone, whether it's the government or medical science, will solve the problems that have arisen because of a person's own choices. When it comes to fertility, that's simply not possible.

There are, however, promising signs that the pendulum is starting to swing back. McCrindle's research indicates that Generation Z is rejecting the "have it all" attitude of the previous generation and is recognising the limitations of science when it comes to fertility.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Victoria’s man drought: Areas where there are more women than men – and vice versa

The female surplus is particularly pronounced in some affluent eastern and bayside suburbs, university locations and “seachange” destinations.

“Females greatly outnumber men in older, established suburbs or places popular with retirees or with aged care homes because they live longer,” social researcher and demographer Mark McCrindle said.

“You also find more women living in locations with female-friendly institutions such as universities, or outer suburban areas with a lower cost of living suitable for single parents.”

“Places where males significantly outnumber females are mainly regional, industrial, farming, fruit picking and military and air force zones. It’s employment-driven,” Mr McCrindle said.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Sydney real estate: Narrowest home on the market expected to fetch upwards of $700,000

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said there was a clear trend of Australians moving away from bigger properties and looking at smaller homes.

“Certainly Australians are responding to smaller properties because the trend has been towards unit and apartment living anyway,” Mr McCrindle said.

“People buying homes have already lived in medium-density housing. A century ago, there were 4.5 people per household in Australia. Now it’s down to 2.6 people per household and the Australian Bureau of Statistics forecasts a drop to 2.5 in the next two decades.”

Mr McCrindle said smaller homes tended to be located in the inner city, where there was an urban environment and a cafe lifestyle.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

Why we named them Gen Alpha

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Naming the next generation

In the USA during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, the alphabetical list of names was exhausted, so scientists looked to the Greek alphabet for names. This nomenclature of moving to the Greek alphabet after exhausting the Latin one has a long history with meteorologists. Scientists of all disciplines use the Greek alphabet as a labelling sequence and as sociologists in naming the next generation we have followed this nomenclature too.

While many people are still gaining an understanding of Generation Y and educational academics are beginning to focus on Generation Z. In Australia alone there are almost two million children born since the end years of Generation Z (1995-2009). With generational analysis having moved from a stage of foundation to consolidation, a more predictable labelling system is being formed. Globally there is consensus on the alphabetised theme of Generations X, Y and Z, but for this latest generation, it is not the end of the old or a recycling of the current but the start of something new.

Generations Y and Z are often referred to as 21st-century generations. However, this upcoming generation is truly the first millennial generation because they are the first to be born into the 21st century (while many Zeds have been born into the 2000s, its oldest members were born at the tale end of the 20th century).

In our survey on the generations we asked respondents what they thought the generation after Z might be called. For many, the logical answer to our question was ‘go back to the beginning’. Generation A was suggested by 25 per cent of our respondents. The respondents who suggested Generation A said the labels also signified what we can expect of this generation and their times: a new and positive beginning for all, with global warming and terrorism controlled. Respondents who suggested the following labels made similar comments: the Regeneration, Generation Hope, Generation New Age, the Saviours, Generation Y-not and the New Generation. Others suggested the label ‘the Neo-Conservatives’ because the upcoming generation will have grown up aware of their impact on the environment and the economy.

Some respondents suggested the label ‘the Millennium Generation’, perhaps appropriate given the fact that this next generation will be the first to have been born into the21st century. However, this label will probably never be adopted; after all, both Generations Y and Z have already been referred to as the Millennials by demographers, writers, commentators and bloggers—particularly those in the US.

Other suggested labels were reflective of our tech-centric age. Many of these labels have also been used to refer to Generations Y and Z and again for this reason probably won’t be taken up: Net Generation, the Onliners, Global Generation, Generation Tech, Generation Surf and the Technos.

Those born globally from 2010-2024 we have labelled as Generation Alpha. If we look at Strauss and Howe’s generational theory, the next generation is predicted to spend its childhood during a high. We are currently living through the crisis period of terrorism, the global recession and climate change. By the time Generation Alpha are all born and moving through their formative years, these threats, among others, may have subsided. If that happens then this generation will begin their lives at a new stage, a global generation beginning in a new reality.


The above is an excerpt taken from Mark McCrindle's book, The ABC of XYZ; Understanding the Global Generations.

Scouts Australia Project in Review

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Organisations must respond to the times to remain relevant amidst significant demographic shifts, cultural change, and generational transitions.

Scouts Australia is the nation’s largest youth organisation with a membership of 52,000 youth members. The not-for-profit recently commissioned McCrindle to guide the direction of a major Youth Program Review (YPR) through a three-phase project, helping Scouts to engage with the needs and desires of Australian families, their perceptions of Scouting, and what families are looking for in a contemporary youth organisation.

Engaging Stakeholders for Strategic Organisational Change

RESEARCH AIMS

Through conducting nation-wide research, Scouts Australia sought to determine future directions and develop a detailed understanding of the wider community to:

  • Ensure the values of Scouts Australia engage with those of 21st Century Australia
  • Create a program that meets the needs of their appropriate youth target market

RESEARCH TOOLS

As part of the research, a number of methodologies and tools were utilised:

  • Awareness and Perception Brand Testing: Testing the perceptions, attitudes, awareness of Australians and Scouting families towards Scouting.
  • Competitor Analysis: Defining how the Scouts Australia brand is perceived in comparison to other Australian youth development, extracurricular, and sport organisations.
  • Segmentation Analysis: Comparing Scouts families with Australian families nationally and differences in their values for Australian youth.
  • Demographic Forecasting & Trends Analysis: Understanding the factors that shape and influence Generation Z from a demographic and social trends perspective.


RESEARCH OUTPUTS

Phase 1 provided qualitative insights through a series of focus groups with current and former Scouts members and Scouting parents, testing Scouting’s current landscape and the changes needed in the program, thus setting the foundation for the Phase 2 and Phase 3 research.

Phase 2 sought to define the needs and desires of Australian families for a national youth program through a comprehensive national study of 1,078 Australian parents with children aged 6 to 18, asking parents about their values and what a youth program should look like for a 21st century Australia. These results were compared to the perspectives of 1,858 Scouts parents.

Phase 3 featured a demographic and social trends scoping study on Generation Z and Generation Alpha incorporating McCrindle data, Australian Bureau of Statistics data, and trend analysis from McCrindle’s generational experts.

The McCrindle team visualised and presented the results of all three phases at national and state executive meetings throughout 2014 to engage key stakeholders with the strategic changes required to shape the new Scouts program.

RESEARCH IMPACT

The Scouts Australia YPR team is using the research as a key engagement piece with Scouts members and their families. The results have led to significant discussions among members and decision-makers on what it could look like to provide a highly sought after youth program for 21st century Gen Zs.

“One chief commissioner suggested this is the best research we have ever completed. Your work has assisted in giving credibility to the YPR and strengthening the belief of others for the need to have the YPR.” – Scouts


SECTOR-WIDE NOT-FOR-PROFIT STUDY

In 2015, McCrindle is conducting a sector-wides study for Australian not-for-profit organisations and charities entitled the Australian Community Trends Report. Organisations are invited to participate and sign up by 30 June, 2015.

MCCRINDLE RESEARCH SOLUTIONS

At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends. See our Research Pack for more information on our services.

The Who, What and Why of Generation Z and Generation Alpha

Friday, April 17, 2015

The students of our world, at schools and universities are the children of Generation X, the cohort that follows Generation Y, and born from 1995 to 2009 they are Generation Z. And following them we have our Gen Alpha's born since 2010. These emerging generations have and are growing up in a time like no other we have seen before. They are the world's first truly global generations, constantly logged up and linked in. They are empowered by having access to every piece of information within a few clicks of a button, and here we find ourselves with the challenge of teaching and educating, of shaping, moulding and developing these emerging generations. 

GENERATION Z

Those filling your schools today are labelled ‘Generation Z’ – born between 1995 and 2009, this generation currently make up 1 in 5 in our population. They make up just 1 in 10 in the workforce, but in a decades time they will make up over a quarter.

When they’re talking about a library they mean they’re playlist on iTunes. They speak and they write in a new language – if they can shorten it, they will. They are content creators, and their idea of an encyclopaedia is one that you can change and contribute to.

While they are constantly reading it’s rarely a book from cover to cover, and after all they are visual communicators, so why read it when you can watch it?

They speak another language like ‘totes’, ‘chron’ ‘chillax’ ‘epic’ ‘frothing’ fo shiz’ ‘cray cray’ ‘yolo’!

GEN ALPHA

And following our Gen Zeds we have Generation Alpha, the kindergarten and preschool children of today. Generation Alpha are likely to have just one sibling, and if they are a boy they’re likely to be called Oliver, William or Jack, and if a girl, Charlotte, Olivia or Ava.

Born since 2010, there are 2.5 million Gen Alphas born around the globe every single week. And the year that they were first born coincided with the launch of the iPad. In case you were wondering they have no idea what a broken record is, nor what you mean when you say they sound like one. They’ve probably never seen a camera that required film, and will probably never have to wait for their photos to be developed.

Glass was something we were told to not touch so it didn’t leave any grubby finger-marks, where as they are growing up with glass being something that they touch, swipe and interact with every single day. The only phones they’ve ever seen also take photos, record videos, access the internet, can download a million apps and have just one button, a fairway from the landline telephones that you could take off the hook. In fact now if you’re left without your mobile phone for a day, maybe you’ve left it at home or the battery’s died, the term is that you have been ‘land lined’.

Whilst Baby Boomers can remember the introduction of the colour TV in the 1970s, Gen Zeds and Gen Alphas can flick up a YouTube video from a smartphone onto the apple TV with ease. They are logged on and linked up, they’re digital natives, and they are the most materially endowed, technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet.

They are empowered by having access to every piece of information within a few clicks of a button and right there is where we find ourselves with the challenge of teaching and educating, of shaping, moulding and developing these emerging generations.

Find out more

Gen Z and Gen Alpha Infographic Update

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EMERGING GENERATIONS

We are in the midst of a generational landmark, as Australia’s “Digital Integrators” (Generation Z) began sitting their final school exams last year, and the first Generation Alpha’s begin their schooling career this year. Below we provide an explanation about each of these generations, and some interesting facts about them.


GEN Z

The students of our world today who are currently at school and university are the children of Generation X, the cohort that follows Generation Y, and who are born between 1995 and 2009. They are Generation Z.

Generation Z are the largest generation ever, comprising around 20% of Australia’s population and almost 30% of the world’s population. Globally there are almost 2 billion of them.

They are the first fully global generation, shaped in the 21st century, connected through digital devices, and engaged through social media.


GEN Z FACTS

  • AKA ‘generation connected’ or ‘dot com kids’
  • 1 in 2 predicted to obtain a uni degree
  • By 2025, will make up 27% of the workforce
  • Predicted to work 17 jobs, 5 careers and live in 15 homes in their lifetime
  • 2,000,000,000 Gen Zs globally
  • Use slanguage like ‘Cray cray’, ‘Defs’, ‘Fomo’ and ‘YOLO’

GEN ALPHA

Following our Gen Zeds are our pre-schooler and kindergarteners of today – Gen Alpha.

Born since the year 2010 they are aged 0-5, they are the children of Gen Y, and there are 1.6 million of them in Australia. They are truly the millennial generation, born and shaped fully in the 21st century, and the first generation that we will see in record numbers in the 22nd century as well. They are logged on and linked up – known as ‘digital natives’. They are the most materially endowed and technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet!


GEN ALPHA FACTS

  • 2.5 million Gen Alpha’s born around the globe each week
  • Most popular boys names: Oliver, William, Jack, Noah, Jackson
  • Most popular girls names: Charlotte, Olivia, Ava, Emily and Mia

What will Australia look like in 2034, the year when first cohort of Generation Alphas are in their early 20s?

  1. The population of Melbourne will be 5.9 million (that’s larger than the whole of Victoria today).
  2. Australia will have reached 32 million (up from 23 million currently).
  3. The global population will be 8.8 billion (that’s twice what it was when the parents of Generation Alpha were born in the early 1980’s).
  4. India will have surpassed China as the world’s most populous nation.
  5. There will be more Australians aged over 60 than under 20 for the first time in our history (a sign of our ageing population).
  6. Australia’s median age (where half the population is younger and half is older) will be 40. It was 29 when the parents of Gen Alpha were born.
  7. The most common household type will be the couple, no kids households, for the first time ever eclipsing the nuclear family of today (couple with children).


For a visual representation of the data, please see our Gen Z and Gen Alpha Infographic.

The First Gen Alpha's Start School

Tuesday, January 27, 2015
The launch of the iPad in 2010 coincided with the beginning of our current generation of children, Generation Alpha – and there are now 2.5 million Gen Alphas being born around the globe each week.

As school starts back this week, we welcome Gen Alpha to the beginning of their educated life, as they commence their formal learning process.

WHO IS GEN ALPHA?


Following our Gen Zeds are our pre-schooler and kindergarteners of today – Gen Alpha.

Born since the year 2010 they are aged 0-5, they are the children of Gen Y, and there are 1.6 million of them in Australia. If they’re a boy they’re likely to be called Oliver, William, Jack, Noah or James. And if they’re a girl, Charlotte, Olivia, Ava, Emily or Amelia are the top 5 most common Gen Alpha names.

Gen Alphas began being born with the launch of the iPad in 2010, and already a third of Australians use a tablet.

A GENERATION OF DIGITAL NATIVES


Gen Alpha were born into a world of iPhones (in fact the word of the year in 2010 when they were first born was “app”), YouTube (there are now 100 hours of YouTube videos uploaded every minute, and in this environment they are more influenced by the visual and the video than the written and the verbal), and Instagram (where life is photographed and shared instantly and globally).

It’s a world of Screenagers where not only do they multi-screen and multi-task, but where glass has become the new medium for content dissemination and unlike the medium of paper, it is kinaesthetic, visual, interactive, connective and still portable. Glass was something that Gen Ys were told to look through and keep their fingers off – for Gen Alpha, glass is a medium through which they touch, talk, and look at. And whilst Baby Boomers remember the introduction of the colour TV in the 1960s and 70s, Gen Alphas are being shaped in a world where they can view a YouTube video from a smartphone onto the home TV.

It’s truly the millennial generation, born and shaped fully in the 21st century, and the first generation that in record numbers will see in the 22nd century as well. They are logged on and linked up – digital natives. They are the most materially endowed and technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet!

THE MOST FORMALLY EDUCATED GENERATION TO DATE


Gen Alpha babies are the product of Australia's second and bigger baby boom, and they will grow up to be smarter, richer and healthier, obtaining the highest level of formal education in history.

Because their parents will indulge them in more formal education and at an earlier age, Gen Alpha will have access to more information than any other generation gone before. Their formal education has never been equalled in the history of the world, with a predicted 1 in 2 Gen Alphas to obtain a university degree.

Generation Alpha will surpass even the praised and sophisticated Zeds in terms of education, with 90 per cent predicted to complete Year 12, compared to 79.9 per cent today, and with the majority going on to tertiary education in some form.

A shift in educational engagement is also occurring for Gen Alpha, changing from structural and auditory to engaging, visual, multimodal and hands-on methods of educating this emerging generation.

INFOGRAPHIC AND MEDIA CONTACT


Please see the below infographic for a visual representation of the data.

For further information, interviews or images please contact the McCrindle Research office on 02 8824 3422 or ashley@mccrindle.com.au.

Are libraries a thing of the past?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The library – home to books and information, including volumes of research by those gone before.

For generations past the library was nothing short of a fountain of knowledge and relevance, but for the emerging generations growing up in an increasingly digitalised age, has the necessity for a library been replaced by touch screens and online search engines?

AN ERA OF UNPRECEDENTED CHANGE

It is undisputed that today we live in an era of unprecedented change and development. The way we work, communicate and socialise has been greatly influenced by the extraordinary technological advancements we have seen over the past 2 decades. For example, it was only in 1997 that Google was registered as a domain and today there are over 3.5 billion Google searches each day.

The internet has transformed how we access information. In many cases, the data available to us online has replaced the need to locate the same information in books.

REMAINING RELEVANT

It is imperative that in this era of change, organisations, institutions and individuals remain relevant and engaged with the current trends. Education is at the forefront of needing to adapt to change as the emerging generations redefine learning. School students are still being assessed by closed book exams in an open book world but a shift has occurred among learners from needing to memorise things ‘just in case’ to simply accessing information ‘just in time’.

PRINT VS. DIGITAL

We needn’t look far for examples of organisations that have become outdated and irrelevant due to the huge technological shift we have seen characterise the last two decades.

Take Encyclopaedia Britannica, a trusted source that many depended on for their school assignments, whose first print edition was published in 1768. In 2010 it ran its final print edition, having been superseded by Wikipedia, invented just 9 years prior in 2001. Rather than being written by experts, Wikipedia is written by the collaborative community and currently has over 4.6 million pages in English alone. It exists as an astonishing example of the change we have seen in the learning, sharing and distribution of resources, knowledge and information.

Similarly, let’s look at Angus and Robertson, an iconic Australian bookseller, book publisher and book printer. Established in 1884, it went into voluntary administration in 2011 along with competitor Borders, showing the shift from the demand for print to the demand for digital.

LIBRARIES TODAY

If we look at school libraries and education today, some have transitioned into a completely digital and virtual model – libraries with no books at all – a concept we would not have fathomed a decade ago. Libraries are now being reinvented as engaging learning spaces where people can access information from their personal devices. Amazingly, today it is even possible to complete a university degree without stepping foot in a university library.

Libraries are experiencing significant change and librarians are no longer the only people with the keys to access the information. In the past, data was costly and difficult to access but now, students can access every piece of information within a few clicks of a button. Technologies have enabled greater efficiencies – and so, traditional ways of finding information are being surpassed with newer, quicker alternatives. For example, locating a book on library shelves by conducting a Boolean search is being replaced by a Google Docs search which provides the latest information on any device and in any location by the mere click of a button or touch of a screen.

WILL LIBRARIES CEASE TO EXIST ALTOGETHER?

While digital media will increasingly be utilised and adapted because of the efficiencies that it enables, humans are still tactile and kinaesthetic learners. The process of connecting pen to paper, turning pages in a book, and physically interacting with the information we consume is unlikely to be completely replaced by the digital offering.

Parents Concerned with Schoolies Celebrations

Monday, November 10, 2014

In the span of a generation, celebrating the end of Year 12 by attending a schoolies week has emerged as a rite of passage. However Australian parents have mixed views of how the celebration is played out and a third of parent’s state that they would not allow their child to participate in a “Gold Coast type schoolies week”.

-Mark McCrindle

Schoolies week has become a tradition in Australia, and the norm for how Australian students reward themselves following months of studious diligence preparing for the HSC exams.

Yet parents aren’t altogether convinced of how their young people are celebrating – nearly all Australian parents have some concern with how schoolies is celebrated and a third would stop their children from participating.

In fact, if parents were given the choice, just 1 in 5 would suggest their child participate in schoolies week as is traditionally celebrated, in a place like the Gold Coast.

THE TOP FINDINGS

• 9 in 10 Australian parents uncomfortable with how Schoolies is celebrated.

• NSW the state with the most concerned parents.

• 3 in 4 parents would prefer their child participate in a volunteer experience over Schoolies week.

• Parents hold strong preference for formal schooling after the HSC.

• Fathers (36%) are more hopeful their child will go to university or TAFE than mothers (26%).

• Less than half of Australians say that schools are effective in equipping students for the workforce.

• Older Australians least optimistic about the current education system.

To read the full analysis please click here.

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