These skills help students to make the most of existing and new technologies, both now and in the future. If they can learn to think outside the box, they are better prepared to take charge of their learning and become life-long learners.
3. Create Independent, Life-Long Learners.
Upending traditional classrooms and encouraging students to try and fail, collaborate, and innovate is the key to helping students take charge of their learning and encourage their internal motivation and curiosity.
A 2017 Institute for the Future and Dell Technologies report states that “around 85% of the jobs that today’s learners will be doing in 2030 haven’t been invented yet.” Furthermore, the World Economic Forum indicates that “by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labor between humans and machines, while 97 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms.” Students in classrooms today must be prepared for jobs that don’t even exist yet, and the best way to do that is to prepare them to be self-managing learners who are driven to continue learning throughout their careers.
4. Update Curricula and Its Delivery.
Integrating ideas from STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) with curricula and industry needs is a crucial step in bringing education current with the reality of the 4IR. Reimagining what a classroom looks like is another critical step. Flexible classrooms focusing on teachers facilitating instead of giving knowledge and on students’ interests and abilities will help students develop the skills necessary to succeed in a changing world of technology.
Content should also be participatory and personalized. It should be participatory in creating opportunities for learners to think critically about it. Instead of multiple-choice quizzes that assess their knowledge, learners can apply the knowledge to their learning contexts, which makes it more personalized.
Additionally, content should be delivered in group-based situations, encouraging debate and communication of opinions and information. This promotes the development of the crucial communication skills needed for the 4IR. Groups can also work together to create products that practically demonstrate their learning. This also allows them to evaluate and innovate, further improving their 4IR skills.
Changing how content is delivered is another vital facet of making education more compatible with the 4IR. MOOCs and mobile-accessible learning help create self-guided learning experiences that students can utilize to learn new skills relevant to their particular contexts.
Where to Next?
As we–as parents, formal educators, administrators, and invested community members–reflect on how to prepare our learners for the future, we must focus on equipping them with the skills they need. They need to think big and have the self-confidence to roll with the changes the world will continue to throw at them and use those changes to improve their lives and the world. By rethinking and restructuring education to align with the challenges and opportunities of the 4IR, we are better situated to successfully empower learners for their futures.
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