Change is inevitable, and while it’s important to design lessons with an end result in mind, it’s difficult to prepare students for a future that doesn’t exist yet. In the recent edWebinar, “The Future Ready Challenge: Improve Student Outcomes in 18 Weeks,” hosted by, Dr. L. Robert Furman, Elementary Principal and author of The Future Ready Challenge, discussed some painless ways to help educators prepare students for an unknown future.

“We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist…using technologies that haven’t been invented…in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet,” noted Furman’s presentation.

1. Use Technology only when Digital Skill-Appropriate

However, educators can do their best to prepare future ready students by focusing on the digital skills they will need to thrive in an increasingly digital world. It’s important to use technology in the classroom, but only when it is appropriate for the digital skill being taught. Recognize how students will benefit from the use of that technology, but don’t use technology simply because it’s the cool thing to do.

2. Make Lessons Practical, Like the Real World

To help improve future ready outcomes in students, Furman also recommends practicality. For example, by working a digital skill into each lesson, teachers can ensure that students will have built up their digital skills by the time they are ready for the real world.

Teachers should also strive to spend more time applying lessons to real world issues. Students are likely to find these lessons more interesting and might be able to apply them in a job one day.

He then suggests saving time during the day by removing unnecessary lessons and skills. If teachers don’t find it necessary for their students to spend 40 minutes a day on spelling, some of that time could be spent on something else.

(Next page: The last future ready tip)

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.