Our education system, even with the best of intentions, is slow to change. In recent times, updating the new curriculum in Australia was first spoken about in 1980 and only began to be deployed in 2011 (National). For those of us with kids just starting at school its unlikely the core learning material will adapt in time to prepare them for life.
And then what happens to higher education. As we start to see the beginning of the end of universities as we know it. The knowledge becoming free through MOOCs and the premium value shifting to the expert individuals, things are going to look very different. Universities as we know it are likely to morph more into research institutions. For with edX and Coursera (free university platforms) to Udemy and Udacity (marketplaces) the options for on-demand learning have never been greater. Udacity offers nano-degrees such as Become a Mobile Developer.
There are some guiding forces and they are worth exploring. We know now that we are preparing kids for a life of multiple careers requiring a nimble set of skills. We know that technology will define the future of jobs and shape a different looking workforce. We need to be teaching them to develop their creativity, problem solving and nimble-ness. It’s not all bad; it’s just different.
- Build their curiosity. Encourage them to ask questions, develop their thinking by extending their knowledge with your questions…”Yes that is right, but what do you think would happen if…” And once they start asking the questions encourage THEM to action finding the answers. As they get older there are a myriad of online short courses, find something that intrigues them and encourage them to learn something new.
- Help them understand the new career options, there are so many new options now. Here is a great site for that.
- Make stuff. Build stuff, make things with their hands – art and craft, maker projects, science projects, forts, lego or Minecraft.
- How to be quiet. Sounds like nirvana – right? But with the increase in information and ‘noise’, developing skills for quiet time is going to be essential. Here is a great app designed for kids to help with mindfulness, but equally it could be sitting quietly with a book or music.
- Deep listening. With smaller kids, playing games like charades or ‘who am I’? as they get older audio books, learn a language and/or podcasts. There are some great podcasts out there!