Ten years ago, when the children wanted to study a school project, they looked into the library. At home, they looked at the fancy encyclopedia or asked you, Father. Today’s kids accustomed to voice technology turn to digital assistants like Google Home or Alexa Amazon for help. Search the web on smartphones or iPads. Technology is fundamentally changing the way children learn. It is also transforming the provision of education for new generations whose lives are linked to the devices and technologies that power the world. I see this is radically changing how our children learn in the future and how we, as parents and teachers, should respond to this change. With the right interventions, technological transformations in education can close critical gaps in today’s traditional classrooms, even if they open up new opportunities for our children.
END OF SOME SIZE ADAPTS
Personalization is already affecting many aspects of our children’s lives. They are used to making individual choices – right from the delivery app that brings their favorite pizza to shows only recommended for them on Netflix. In education, this has deeper implications and good response. Technology enables a much more adaptive and personalized learning experience. Not all children learn at the same pace. Or they have the same learning style. Teachers in a traditional classroom with more than 40-50 children have very little opportunity for individual student assessment. Adaptive learning software systems based on artificial intelligence now solve this problem – courses can be adapted to meet the individual learning needs of the child at his level. We are moving towards a future in which the curriculum will be individualized for each child in the class. Children will be able to learn at their own pace, following individualized trajectories for optimal results.
CLASS OF THE FUTURE
Technology is shaping the classroom of the future. Students will seamlessly transition from virtual classroom to global virtual classroom on the same school day. Video communication tools will allow them to communicate with classmates around the world, working in real time on a school project. The debate clubs will be streamed live from two or more continents. Virtual classrooms will provide access to high-quality teaching or special curriculum, and provide children with the opportunity to experience rich multicultural experiences and communities far from their own. Schools around the world are already introducing virtual and augmented reality into the classroom – technologies that can turn learning into a fun, often magical experience. For example, with apps like Google Expeditions, students can take guided study trips and see and walk around a place or object.
Our children grow up reading flash fiction. They are microblogging and think in 140 characters. The way they express themselves and communicate also extends to how they choose to learn. Research shows that online learners prefer to learn in stages. They want concise, clear and attractive modules. They want their learning content to meet the same high standards of engagement that they expect in other areas of their lives.
Technology is also making a more fundamental shift towards education. Prospective learners will take a flexible approach to developing appropriate skills, as technologies that develop steadily make existing skills redundant.
Our children will enter a workforce where they will have to continually develop skills to keep up with technology and stay flexible. Incremental accreditations, rather than simple monolithic accreditations that take years to obtain, will disrupt the way students receive an education. Students will be able to accumulate a range of accreditations, learning flexibly as they progress towards a single degree.
LEARN TO BE A TEACHER OF LIFE
On Coursera, one of the most popular online courses of all time, with 2 million entries, is Learning How to Learn, developed by Dr. Barbara Oakley of the University of Auckland. It teaches students how to use the tools learned from neuroscience to learn more successfully, which is essential for the future. Helping children learn to “learn” and master new or challenging subjects will be increasingly critical to their success. Our children will have to study all their lives in unpredictable jobs, where college alone is no longer enough. Learning will become a way of life, not a stage in life.
Models such as online learning will give them the flexibility they need for lifelong learning. Students are already looking for more convenience. For example, on their way to work, they want to watch a 20-minute video. The mobile interface helps them learn on the go on any device of their choice.
Perhaps the most important change will be what our children are learning. We can’t teach our children to compete in cars. They are smarter. We need to learn something unique, ”said Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group, who gathered at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting this year. He argues that the “knowledge-based approach 200 years ago” will “let our kids down” because it does not prepare them to compete with cars. He believes that children should be taught “light skills such as independent thinking, values and teamwork.” Robots could replace 800 million jobs by 2030, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. Skills such as creativity, thinking outside the box and adaptability will become indispensable for our children in this age of automation.
Helping them develop these skills will be the most important contribution we, as parents or teachers, can make to preparing our children for a new future. As the modern world continues to change, the term “digital divide” has become the industry watchword. Today’s efforts are constantly focused on maximizing one’s own potential through regular qualifications to adapt to the changing demands of the industry. However, the skills underlying the qualification process have remained relatively unchanged. Thus, these skills need to be instilled at an early age so that people can reach their full potential in society.