Schools of the Future and their Effect on Individual Career Development

14/12/2021

Dr Peter Carey (FCDAA Life) is the Director of Learning and Development Consulting Services and currently undertaking further Doctoral research studies into the present constraints and possibilities for the future of learning, exploring possible scenarios of schooling. Peter is a past national president of CDAA.

Schools have mostly stayed constant over the past 75 years. The teacher stands in front of the classroom, in front of rows of desks with pupils sitting behind them. But in today's classrooms, technology has become a vital aspect of the learning environment.

What Should the School of the Future Look Like?

The idea of further integrating technology to improve the learning environment has piqued people's interest. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and could enable us to do incredible things in education.  

The concept of a virtual classroom could become commonplace. Working from home has never been easier and the advantages of remote and flexible employment have been recognised by many organisations. The trend is certain to continue in the coming years, and it may even expand to education. 

There are several reasons why students are unable to attend school. They may be sick, live in distant sections of the nation, have suffered family violence and been traumatised, or are unable to function in normal school. Virtual, distance, and online learning can provide students with additional freedom by allowing them to personalise what they study and when they learn it. However, it goes without saying that the importance of classroom debates and social interaction should never be underestimated.

In the not-too-distant future, educationalists expect that intelligent technologies, such as robots, will begin to supplant instructors. While most educators believe that human teachers are necessary, we must have discussions around AI's ability to replicate the social, emotional, and cognitive qualities of human teachers. Teachers will always have a place in the classroom, but digital technologies will be able to provide students with a more individualised and personalised learning experience.  

Critical Future Skills

It is commonly recognised that to succeed in a future worldwide society, previously valued skills and knowledge will become less relevant, while a new set of competencies will become more prominent. It is critical for humans to not compete with machines if they are to flourish. Rather, they must become more human. Individual ingenuity, artistry, and humanity will be valuable commodities in an AI future, distinguishing humans from one another.

True personalisation is achieved when students can create their own learning paths. This necessitates a flexible curriculum that allows students to pick what they want to study, as well as the ability for students to choose their own learning path without being excessively confined by the pre-determined curriculum. A curriculum for all students should consist of a minimal set of necessary information and abilities, adequate for all students to achieve the most fundamental competencies.

As a result of several important influences, curricular alterations that influence what learners should study are among the significant changes expected during the next decade. More students are anticipated to shift to competency-based learning, which focuses on the development of specific skills.

Students will benefit from increased control over their own learning and the learning communities they participate in. Because of COVID-19 and the need for global linkages, schools will have a unique chance to adapt positively and proactively. Schools have been known to modify their timetables and teaching locations so that students can participate in many, more demanding learning opportunities at the same time, irrespective of their physical location.  

The Digital Divide and the Effect on Individual Career Development

The digital gap is still a major concern across the world. It's critical that we use technology to rethink better education and develop innovative methods to make education equitable, including closing the digital divide. 

The digital divide denies people access to critical tools for professional advancement and wealth generation. Many students and workers found it challenging to work from home and attend classes online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students and adults in regional and remote areas who do not have Internet access have been cut off. This social isolation has also occurred in Australia's urban areas. 

Pupils have also faced challenges to education due to a lack of technology and digital abilities. Because of this lack of digital literacy, it is more difficult to get work and access good positions, which has a negative impact on a person's career advancement. As a result of the digital gap, women may be hurt more than men, which is contrary to gender equality ideals. 

Girls can benefit from technology and the internet, but many are prevented from utilising and developing digital tools and online content due to a lack of opportunity, skills, and a fear of prejudice. Girls and young women need equitable access to technology, digital training, and online safety to achieve gender equality. 

ICTs Will Shape Future Employment, but Who Will Fill These Positions 

The majority of employment in the world currently includes a digital component, and the majority of jobs will eventually demand advanced digital capabilities. Governments can assist girls prosper in economies where routine work has been mechanised and digital talents are valued by equipping them with digital skills. Technology may also empower girls to become activists and changemakers on topics that impact them. For example, social media platforms enable activists to reach a large audience and coordinate action for common concerns.

Today, as we face a fast-changing world of work, ICTs are extremely important. How can we ensure that women and girls have the necessary ICT and STEM abilities to compete on an equal footing with boys and men in the twenty-first century economy, have more options, and have access to better-educated, better-paying jobs?

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