They may not know it yet, but children currently attending school face a global economy increasingly being shaped by technology and connectivity. The career and professional landscape for our children is looking extremely competitive; life for the future members of Generation Z will unfold in capitalistic technocracies that will demand the best of them.
Here are four important aspects of education and career formation that teachers, parents and community leaders need to think about now so that our children can be prepared to face the future:
The Job Market of Tomorrow
While it is true that machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics are threatening to eliminate many jobs, we tend to ignore how many new jobs are being created thanks to advances in technology. A research study found that there is no evidence of major job losses prompted by technology since the Luddites revolted against industrial textile machines in the 19th century. If anything, more jobs are being created, but the labor market no longer follows the model of a giant factory giving jobs to the entire population of a small town. What schools and families must do is become informed in how job markets are developing, particularly with regard to tech careers.
Meeting Today's Educational Needs
There is no question that public schools these days face numerous challenges related to the socioeconomic baggage that students bring to the classroom. Community leaders should do their best to eliminate barriers to education such as homelessness, deep poverty and defeatism; these are often clumsily hidden issues that can be addressed by schools, but not in the classroom. Mentoring, counseling, extracurricular activities, and after school programs are excellent ways to ameliorate educational conditions so that students can truly learn.
Building an Adequate Tech Infrastructure
With reduced hardware costs and cloud computing, achieving an acceptable tech infrastructure in modern schools should not be too challenging. The key is to ensure that technology access is distributed evenly. In low-income school districts, a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program can be considered along with virtualization and affordable thin clients.
New jobs are being gradually created within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). School district administrators in charge of curriculum design should always think about STEM when they conduct planning sessions. You can also focus on enrolling your children in schools that promote this focus, such as Buckeye Educational Systems. Motivation plays a vital role in STEM; schools need to select the most attractive real-world examples of tech development and adapt them to the classroom.
In the end, teachers and parents should get together as partners in a lifelong project of preparing children to face a brave new world. The next generation could be part of the most technological world history has ever known, and right now is the optimal time to prepare them for it.