It’s not just that curriculums aren’t keeping up with the skills required for a future of exponential change in which skills learned today can be obsolete in years or even months.
Our entire standard approach to education — top-down, one-size-fits-most, heavily biased against collaboration, and generally ending in young adulthood at the latest — has barely changed since the industrial revolution.
No wonder the status quo is a poor match for an imminent future in which entire groups of people within specific job types and industries will be made redundant by automation and will desperately need new skills to adapt to the changing workplace.
Granted, it’s now possible to download smartphone apps that turn foreign language learning into a game, squeeze bite-sized lessons in everything from history to coding into ten-minute blocks of free time, or quantify various non-classroom activities as work-related training. But while these technologies can be efficient tools to help individuals acquire specific new skills and prove what they already know, they ignore the much more pressing and universal issue: the future is digital, and anyone whose skills are insufficient, inadequate, or outmoded will be left behind.
If we hope to have a real impact and avert the potential disaster of massive, permanent global unemployment, we must also radically rethink learning at the societal level.
Technology is not enough
Researchers at the University of Southern California are working to develop a cognitive neural prosthesis they hope will allow people with traumatic brain injuries to literally download muscle memory and motor function. If it works, we may in the future be able to buy or rent knowledge as we need it and import it into our minds in minutes, Matrix-style.
My point of view: Let’s not confuse learning with formal education. With regard to learning, i have an optimistic view looking at the diffusion rate of many new forms of technology. Let’s not constrain the impact of digital to the economy: as stated by the authors it has and will have profound impact on society. And last but not least: technology is not only tech but is much more; it’s about knowledge of competences or skills (a.o which tech)