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Hello!

 In this blog I would like to explore the past, ponder about the present and envision the future of ICT and Technology in education.

As well as share best practices from teachers in the ICT and Technology implementation.

 

Yours in technology

Ariellah

WHAT IF OUR ANCESTORS WERE INVITED TO A TECH SHOW?

If we were to organise an exhibition of current technologies and invite our ancestors and descendants from the past to attend, what would their reaction be?

Our forefathers walked in the desert for 40 years to reach their desired destination. Imagine! After all the suffering, starving and struggling in the harsh climate and tough terrain to find out that with ‘flying technologies’ they could have made the journey within an hour! Moreover, with global positioning satellite (GPS) technology, it would have been so much easier to navigate their way. And oh! How crazy they’d think we are, counting our steps, with IoT devices, and sending information to a ‘cloud’…not to ask for direction from G-d but to…monitor our health!

Imagine Florence Nightingale, known for founding the modern discipline of nursing, and a key figure in introducing new professional training standards for nursing, visiting a robot display to reveal moving machines replacing the service of human care. Japan’s aging population (30% of its population is older than 65), faces a crisis of a shortage of human resource in eldercare. To resolve this predicament, robots have been placed in nursing homes. Robots that move, cry and cuddle are replacing the human work force, from lifting people from bed to entertaining them, with much success. The elderly absolutely love them!

All those involved in getting our internet to where it is today! Who would have imagined that with all the impact of the internet on our culture, commerce, communication and technology that it will also generate the biggest crime, globally? According to the latest information, cybercrime will cost the world more than six trillion dollars annually by 2021. It will be more profitable than the combined global trade of all illegal drugs!

However, if we had Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein entering some of the current classrooms, they’d most probably see no difference from their own classroom, a hundred or more years ago. They will also notice that not much has changed with teaching and assessments, using a curriculum that is mostly outdated with techniques and pedagogies that prepared children for the industrial jobs of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Companies invest in enormous amounts of research to explore the use and impact of new technologies in the global economy (McKinsey, World Economic Forum and so many other papers and reports have been published on the topic.) But what about education? Isn’t it time that we explore transforming education to keep up with the pace of change and to prepare our future generation for their world of work?

We now know more than we knew in the past on how children learn and we know that new technologies are transforming jobs as we know them. But we continue to skill our children for jobs that soon will vanish.

It is time that industries, corporates, government and educationalists work together to transform education through updated policies, curriculum and implementation of technologies as tools to assist with the digital transformation. It is time that we start implementing the use of technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science and IoT in emulating successful methodologies and incorporating them in our classrooms.

The return on our investment will be higher than any business will ever generate. And who knows, the fruits of these investments may be showcased one day in an exhibition featuring future technologies produced by our own future generation.

Written by Ariellah Rosenberg, CEO ORT SA

@Ariellah @ORT_SA

Education for the future

The below article was published online on World ORT and Biz-community Websites

Education has to change and adapt to tomorrow’s world. What should we study for the future workplace?

By Ariellah Rosenberg, Chief Executive Officer, ORT South Africa

You wake up in the morning anticipating your bowl of cereal to fuel you for the rest of the day, but find an empty carton of milk. It’s a scenario that may be familiar to many of us. You reach for your phone and after a few clicks 10 minutes later you get a two-litre carton of milk delivered to your door by a flying robot.

This is not the preface of a science fiction book – it is becoming a reality in many places in the world. In Finland, a special pilot project has been launched in Helsinki that intends to have drones deliver goods and packages of up to 1.5kg within a distance of up to 10km.

Thousands of years ago we would be approaching prophets and asking them to look into the future to help us paint the picture of the significance of all these changes. The technology pace is so fast that it is difficult to predict how the changes will impact our lives, but mostly how they will impact our livelihood and how best we need to be equipped for jobs that not only don’t yet exist, but that we perhaps cannot even imagine.

When ORT was established in 1880, in the midst of the second industrial revolution, the invention of electricity brought about many changes in the way people lived. When electric power expanded into mass production it also changed the work environment. These changes have had implications for the workforce skills, and ORT’s mission of teaching people skills was significant in helping them adapt to the world of work by providing artisanship and vocational skills training.

Now, 139 years later and with operations in more than 30 countries, ORT faces similar challenges.

In the light of the so called fourth industrial revolution there is the understanding that we have to continuously examine the curriculum, pedagogies and methodologies offered by schools, colleges and universities to adopt and prepare this generation for the future workplace.

In the 1990s the internet transformed all industries through communication, commerce and sharing of information. A few years later, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and automation (robotics) are fast and furious and require us to adapt or be left behind.

Technology is changing the world of work in the way we process information, the way we communicate and the way we share information. There are pros and cons to those changes, but unarguably, it makes our lives easier, cheaper and much more productive.

Digital technologies allow the encoding of analog information into zeros and ones so that computers can store, process and transfer this information. According to The Future of Professions by Richard Susskind, in 2010 only 20 per cent of the world’s information was stored digitally. Today it is 98per cent! And with the shift from print-based information to internet-based information, it further facilitated the creation, access and spread of knowledge. 

The ubiquitous access to professionals and to professional guidance is increasing and provides ample opportunities for both businesses and professionals.

Automation generates anxiety and fear of the society of robots replacing human labor. According to The changing nature of work, a World Development report published by the World Bank Group in 2019, technological progress leads to the direct creation of jobs in the technology sector. Robots are and will be replacing workers, but it is far from clear to what extent. Interestingly, technological change that replaces routine work is estimated to have created more than 23 million jobs across Europe from 1999 to 2016, according to the report.

Technologies bring promise but also possess threats and we need to learn how to maximise the promises that the technologies bring – and minimise the perils of the changes to come.

Alec Ross, author of the Industries of the Future explains that the change driven by digitisation creates efficiencies but everything that we do digitally creates security problems. He calls it the “weaponisation of code”, the most significant development since the missile weaponisation and identifies cyber security know-how as a talent that needs to be developed.

This is why education has to change and adapt to tomorrow’s world. What should our current generation study for the future workplace?

McKinsey’s May 2018 report The Skill Shift Automation and the Future of Workforce indicates skills that will be on the rise and skills that will be shrinking. Physical and manual skills as well as basic cognitive skills will be in less demand, whereas higher cognitive skills, social and emotional skills and technological skills will be high in demand for future jobs.

Therefore, in the same way that any learning curriculum includes reading and writing, so too the basics of computer science have to be incorporated. Coding is becoming the alphabet of how the future will be written.

In a world of zeros and ones where software makes robots so powerful, it is important to ensure we also include emotional intelligence and humanitarianism in the curriculum to create more resilient people. Empowering our youth to not only compete in the world of tomorrow but to become the future leaders.

So here we are, back at home, waking up and ready for our breakfast cereal. But this time the drone delivers the milk before we even open our eyes. Because, hey, IoT (Internet of Things) and Artificial Intelligence already know you are out of milk!

Follow Ariellah Rosenberg on Twitter

Follow ORT South Africa on Twitter

Sample through to career selection

You found your purpose (Link to post) and have made the decision on the career path to take. What’s next?

It may be wise to ‘sample’ or ‘experiment’ the profession you have chosen to embark on. This may save you time, money and unnecessary discomfort, especially if it takes you through the academic route.

Here are three ways to explore and experience the career you have chosen to take.

  1. Take an internship or volunteer as an apprentice in a profession of your choice. Use the time to ask, explore, inquire and experience your selection.
  2. Take a MOOC (Massive, Online, Open Courses). Register for one of the MOOC platforms with one or two courses in the field chosen, and start learning. This will give you an in-depth insight into the subject matter and motivation to pursue it further. (Should it convince you away from your selected path, you have saved time and money with registering with a full qualification. In addition, you acquired a skill or knowledge that may be useful in the future.)
    Check out the following MOOC platforms:
    https://www.coursera.org/
    https://www.udemy.com/
  3. Join Social Media professional groups of your chosen profession and become a “fly on the wall” gaining insight through their experiences. In the process you may also extend your network and search for future mentors or even employers.

This sampling could be spent during your ‘gap year’ period and make this time a meaningful part of your career selection journey.

Image source: Edsurge

Trust your intuition when choosing a career path

By now, you have adopted a growth mindset (Link Post), know the importance of acquiring broad skills rather than a single skill (Link post) and you may ask yourself what now? I am still confused…

Many books have been written on the power of purpose, (Amazon lists more than 150K of them), the desire to make a difference and live a purposeful life. So why don’t we start the search for our career path combined with our search for purpose?

It is time for deep reflection and working within. The following questions can be asked to help you find your purpose (the WHY for your existence).

  1. You are 10 years old. What did you spend most of your time doing? What did you love doing?
  2. If you were a character in a Marvel movie. How would you save the world? What will you save the world from?
  3. What do people come to you for advice for?
  4. In what areas do you feel comfortable to take risks in?
  5. What makes you cry? What makes you happy?

Finding the purpose is mostly about how we contribute to the better of other people.

If you find this exercise difficult and not ready for this in-depth questioning. Start with a simple question… What is that you see yourself doing for the rest of your life that will make you jump out of bed every single morning?

We tend to ask what jobs will bring us a good and secured income but forget to trust our intuition regarding our existence in this world.

Equip yourself to the future job market

If you knew that you could do whatever your mind is set to do, what would you be doing?

Include this question when pursuing your career choice. Reflect on it and use it in discussions with family and friends. Choose people who will listen to you in a non-judgmental way and with constructive feedback. (Check this post about the importance of mindset). 

When we finish school and are faced with a career decision, we are also under pressure to choose a certain path, from parents or our social circle. Usually, the advice is towards the familiar and conventional job career choices; becoming a lawyer, doctor, accountant…all to secure your future and financial stability.

The question is what future are we securing? Numerous articles and research discuss the unknown with the jobs of the future due to the magnitude of changes brought by technology. Automation and artificial intelligence is said to already replace 50% of the jobs force in the USA. So what will be the jobs of the future and what skills will we need to ensure we are equipped?

In the past, mastering one skill used to be the norm. Be good in one thing, master it and you will become successful. Unfortunately, today, mastering one skill is not enough. In his book, Adam Scott, ‘How to fail at almost everything but still win big’ the author claims that it’s better to develop a variety of abilities and sometimes fail than mastering a single skill. Having many skills, increases your market value and will help you adjust to the world’s constant changes as well as help you stand out from the competition.

How is this helping parents or the decision makers? It may help alleviate the pressure of acquiring one single skilled profession. It may change our perspective that failing in a specific job choice may just be a stepping stone towards another route. Acquiring a variety of skills, already from school is vital if we are to become ready for the jobs of the future. 

Start with your mindset when choosing career

In response to my first post in the series of career selections SEE LINK  , I received interesting feedback via comments , emails and discussions I had with people. It alerted me that people seem to put quite a lot of emphasis on the various assessments offered for career guidance but yet don’t seem to see it beneficial.

When I was 21 years old, after my army duty, my dad made it clear that I will have to study in a university. I had no idea what and where and was extremely muddled. It was decided that I will do an assessment with a professional guidance counselor. I remember the long and excruciating assessment. I had to fill in a long questionnaire followed by a cumbersome interview. After long hours in his office, I left with one message: “I can do anything I put my mind to”… I was still confused about the path to take.

Carol Dweck, a professor from Stanford University and the author of “Mindset” has dedicated years of research onto people’s belief in their abilities and talents and how it affects which paths they choose to take in life. She demonstrates that what matters most is our mindset. There are two types of mindsets: people with the fixed mindset where they believe that we were born with our abilities and talent and there is nothing that can be done to change it and people with growth mindset who believe in their ability to grow and learn from mistakes rather than seeing those mistakes as failures.

How are this types of mindsets linked to selecting your career path? I believe there is a strong connection between what you believe you can do to the path you choose. Adopting a growth mindset would help you with choosing a path that may be more difficult to pursue but at the end, more fulfilling. Having a mindset that failures are perceived as opportunities will ease your choice process towards your own development.

I wish I understood this when I did my own assessment. I would have understood the advice given to me better. Anyone at any time can adopt the growth mindset. We should start embedding this mindset into our schools from an early stage.

Image source: unknown

Choosing what to do after school

Source: abssvss

You’re 18 years old, finished school and most probably, experiencing the ‘end of childhood’ as you knew it. You are faced with a life time decision, or so you feel, about your career path.

Many have been in a similar situation..’the road not taken’…’jobs of the future’… ‘choose wisely’…. So much pressure for relatively young souls that have being part of the schooling system for more than a decade. A system where almost everything is dictated, including the dress code, the time to wake up and the curriculum.

Now, you have to choose the path to take. What to learn, where and when. You have to dictate your own path. Seeking guidance through assessments, professionals, teachers or parents can be useful but doesn’t always bear the answers you are looking for.

The following four principles can help you through this period;

  1. Take the risk. The biggest fear is selecting a path for which you are not sure of. It’s Ok if you decide to change your route! See each experience as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  2. Embrace lifelong learning. No matter what you have chosen, continue learning. In today’s changing environment it is no longer the case that we learn for a profession it is learning while you are in the job.
  3. Travel, get out of your comfort zone. Traveling experiences can provide ample learning and strengthen your character.
  4. Gap Year; If you’re not sure what to do after school, take a gap year, but enrich this year with studies, reading and travel experiences. The decision will come sooner or later. Even if later, you’d have a wider foundation to stand on to ensure you are equipped to deal with changes and new unexpected career pathways.

Source: Crunchy Friday

* This post is first in a series of articles to tackle issue of career guidance. Please comment and share your thoughts and own experiences