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future ready

3 easy ways to get students future ready

Expert recommends simple updates to regular classroom lessons to better prepare students for an uncertain future.

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)

3. Don’t Make Textbooks the Focus

Furman also suggests to “toss out the textbook,” or rather, use the textbook as one of many resources as opposed to an entire curriculum. “It’s supposed to be a resource, but it’s gotten to the point now where it’s even more than that—people can’t live without it,” he said. Figure out how to teach the skill with a different resource.

By working small changes into the classroom that have a future-ready mindset and incorporate digital skills, teachers can help prepare students for whatever the future may hold.

About the Presenter

Dr. L. Robert Furman is an elementary principal, best-selling author, and national keynote speaker. He is also a Huffington Post Edu blogger and 20 to Watch honoree. His latest book is The Future Ready Challenge: Improve Student Outcomes in 18 Weeks. Find Furman online at his website, his blog, and on Twitter @drfurman.

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The recording of the edWebinar can be viewed by anyone here.

[Editor’s note: This piece is original content produced by more events here.]

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