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Bloom’s Taxonomy & Today’s Tech-Savvy Students

An Educator’s Perspective - Hear From Dr. Saundra McGuire



Even though Bloom’s Taxonomy was initially developed in 1956 and is widely agreed to be relevant today, there are still many college students who are unaware of Bloom’s Taxonomy or who have limited knowledge of its meaning and application.

What We Know
Bloom’s Taxonomy was developed by Benjamin Bloom in 1956, during the Baby Boomer Generation, and is a framework for teaching and learning.  “...the framework can be used to create assessments, evaluate the complexity of assignments, increase the rigor of a lesson, simplify an activity to help personalize learning, design a summative assessment, plan project-based learning, frame a group discussion, and more. Because it simply provides an order for cognitive behaviors, it can be applied to almost anything.” (Terry Heick, What Is Bloom’s Taxonomy? A Definition For Teachers)

Bloom’s has grown in awareness, adoption, and application throughout the various generations - Generation X, Millennials, Generation Y, and now Gen Z students.

More About Erin
I am a Baby Boomer.  I work primarily with Gen X’ers.  I have Millennial/Gen Y children (thank goodness since they are my tech support and my early adopters of technology), my nieces and nephews are GenZ, and I have a Gen Alpha grandson (who knew Gen Alpha was even a thing?).  Anyway, people tell me I am computer savvy, but being surrounded by these other generations, I don’t feel like it. My sons have always taught me how to use technology and were the only reason I switched to a Mac. If I had a dollar for every time they asked, “why are you doing it like that?”, or “why don’t you use this app or that program?”, I truly would be a wealthy grandma.  And speaking of being a grandma, it won’t be long before my 2-year-old grandson overtakes me with his technological skills. He already takes my phone, opens apps, plays movies, and swipes through my photos.

I’ve Been Thinking
How do we adapt (or do we even need to adapt) Bloom’s Taxonomy for our GenZ students (born between 1995  and 2015), who have never known the world without the internet and who have had access to smartphones and computers from an early age?  We know that Bloom’s Taxonomy was revised in 2001 to reflect the changes in teaching & learning that were occurring at the time, but a lot has changed since 2001 with respect to GenZ & technology.

Additional Resources

My Questions For You
I do not consider myself an expert, and I certainly do not have the answers, and so I pose the following questions to all of you:

  • Do you think today’s college students are aware of Bloom’s Taxonomy when they come to college and are they able to apply it to their learning?
  • How has technology influenced Bloom’s Taxonomy or vice versa?
  • How have you adapted Bloom’s Taxonomy for today’s students?

Let’s get the conversation started.  What do you think?

So...what do you think? Share your thoughts. Share this blog to keep the conversation going!

Erin Hoag headshot



Author: Erin Hoag
April 17, 2019

Comments 3
  • Elizabeth Swartz
    Elizabeth Swartz

    I suggest that Bloom’s Taxonomy of needs to be reorganized for our Gen Z learners. These students have grown up with social media and the instant gratification that it brings, as well as the opportunity for instant feedback, instant criticism, and the lessening of the opportunity for face-to-face interactions. While our physiological needs arguably remain the same, levels 2-5, starting with “safety” are now being redefined as students encounter threats to their safety in the digital world. These threats also intrude on Love/Belonging, Esteem, and Self-Actualization. I am essentially theorizing that four levels of Bloom’s taxonomy are directly challenged by how information, relationships, and education are conducted in the age of social media and digital learning. I work extensively with 18-24 year old students, so my experiences and observations are limited in scope to traditionally aged university students. Thank you for posing this interesting question, Beth

  • Alexis

    Love this!!! I need exactly these resources for my own students, who I teach about Bloom’s for their peer mentorship and peer critique. As they learn, there are some challenges. Enthusiasm for Bloom’s sometimes translates to, “I’m going to aim for analyze and create for EVERYTHING!” These students need to know that the level to aim for is the one likely to be needed in practice. Some information just needs a basic coverage, not full depth!

    Those who feel underwhelmed say, “Ok..? Everyone knows this.” They don’t really get the purpose and don’t fully engage immediately to recognize what is possible through educational practice that incorporates Bloom’s. However, I can’t blame them. I didn’t get the full potential until I started working with other educators on matching their formative teaching practices to the level of summative assessment they will use with students at the end of their units.

    Thank you again for this!

  • Geri

    Great post! I totally agree with the video presenter! Every institution should include competencies as part of an FYE course or freshman seminar.

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