“When I was your age, we didn’t have cellular devices. If we wanted to talk to someone, we would send a handwritten letter. And then we walked ten miles to school. In the snow. Uphill. Both ways.”
We’ve all heard a story like this from our elders. It’s truly mind-boggling to chronical just how far we’ve come technologically, even in the past decade. The crux for education, however, is that due to how fast technology is advancing, the future job market we’re preparing students for will likely look completely different by the time they graduate.
This is referred to as Exponential Technologies. Chris Neels at Exponentials.xyz tells us that Exponential Technologies are “Technologies that are progressing at an exponential pace… Some exponential technologies we observe today are additive manufacturing, the blockchain, wearables, synthetic biology, sensors, cognitive computing, drones, and robotics.”
Nicole Wilson, former VP at Singularity University, gives a compelling talk about exponential technologies, and how they are impacting the future of teaching and learning. The US Department of Labor tells us that “65% of today’s grade school kids will end up at jobs that haven’t been invented yet.” This indicates the need for a huge shift away from traditional education.
So what do students today need to learn to keep up with the rapidly evolving job market?
Wilson tells us, “Last year, the World Economic Forum released their New Vision for Education Report which identified a set of ‘21st century skills.’ The report broke these into three categories: Foundational Literacies, Competencies, and Character Qualities.”
Foundational literacies are essentially the basics: reading, writing, science, math, and the arts.
Competencies are “often referred to as the four C’s- critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration-- the very things computers currently aren’t very good at.” In a world where AI is becoming increasingly closer to a reality than a science fiction movie, reinforcing these skills are crucial to prevent all jobs from becoming automated.
In this list of 21st century skills, essential character qualities include “curiosity, adaptability, and leadership [to] help students become active creators of their own lives, finding and pursuing what is personally meaningful to them.” It is noted that the character quality of grit has become viewed as especially important as we transition into training students for a future we cannot yet fathom.
What kind of future do you imagine?
** Interested in discovering more about mindfulness for online students? Our resident marketing guru and chief story-teller Mark Guay will be hosting a webinar with author, educator, and health coach Peter Berg for the CMASAS community on March 30th at 4 PM PST/ 7 PM EST. This webinar will focus solely around the concept of mindfulness, and how it can help our students to thrive both in academia as well as in life. Mark and Peter will share fundamental mindfulness techniques meant to empower teenagers and help them grow their health and happiness. Find more information about the webinar by clicking the link below!