I write this in April 2020, a period of tremendous change and instability for any generation. During this time of disruption and uncertainty, we can see the demand for strong technical skills in future learners. We’ve all had to quickly adapt to a new working and learning environment. I will discuss three considerations below for thinking about exposure to technology through education and its benefits.
Learners need to understand what their learning journey is going to look like
Technology is extensive, complicated, and incredibly varied. There is a place for everyone in technology, from the artist to the engineer and all in between. The breadth and depth of technology expertise and experience demand a level of focus. The scale and speed of evolution may not permit a “jack of all trades” to stay relevant. Instead, we must explore our interests and passions early on, and learn to collaborate with those who have comparable skills.
Everyone is embarking on a journey of learning that will last a lifetime. In the same field, knowledge gained today will be outdated in 5 years, much alone 25 years. To make the best decisions and define a sustainable course, learners require comprehensive exposure to technology at the start of their learning journey. It is still possible to change later in life, but it will be much more difficult. Teaching computer science is easy with the US K-12 CS Framework (or technology)
Current market conditions show growing demand across industries resulting from continuing implementations of technologies and evolution towards automation. The World Economic Forum “Future of Jobs Report” states a net gain of 58 million jobs created versus jobs lost arising out of automation.
Organizations like Cisco cite shortages of networking skills in places like South America, where technology demand is outstripping supply significantly, and connectivity is strongly connected to prospects for economic growth.
People need to see technology in a pleasant way to be ready to profit from the increasing wave. Otherwise, the result may seem undesirable or even unattainable.
The learners that will take up these new jobs are in the early years of education now. They may have extensive experience in legacy businesses and need to return to a new path to learn. Furthermore, the evolution of the learning system in Montessori has proved throughout the age and experience that real learning and application lead to higher commitment.
Young and special needs learners engaged in learning by copying real-world activities rather than attempting to connect learning through fiction. The technology challenge is great, but rather than focusing on the content for learning itself, which in many cases is available in one form or another, the focus must be on the experience of learning for the different demographics of learners that feed the pipeline of talent required.
Jobs and automation will rise while demand exists, but we must be ready to shift.
We can see from history that industrial automation in the past has led to job growth, however also that the job growth fuelled through this automation is led by the surge in accompanying demand that drives the commercial rationale for investing in automation, meaning what makes the investment financially viable. When demand flattens rather than grows, the inevitable automation will cause rapid attrition in the roles created.
Traditional educational models have failed to prepare students to adapt and value their knowledge in a business setting. This supports the importance of a) the critical importance of introducing learning to people of all ages through a range of real-world contexts in which a consistent set of abilities apply; b) nurturing curiosity in learners to be as adaptable as possible by continuing cross-industry understanding through their ongoing self-learning.
Exposure to technology education and the learning of digital skills is undoubtedly critical. Still, people need a strong foundation to be successful in their careers.
If you’re interested in discussing more technology education or even want to explore ways to do that with us, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.