"We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist … using technologies that haven't been invented … in order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet."—Richard Riley, former Secretary of Education
Data scientist. Digital artist. App developer. Virtual assistant. Blogger.
What do they have in common? They're all jobs that didn't exist 20 years ago.
According to a 2016 report by the World Economic Forum, "By one popular estimate, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don't yet exist." Even "old" jobs will look radically different in workplaces transformed by technology, changing demographics, and globalization.
So how do we prepare students for jobs and workplaces that don't exist yet? Here are a few thoughts gathered from teachers at Connections Academy®—supported schools. After all, they are pioneers in online education, a field that itself didn't exist 20 years ago.
Three Essential Skills
We can't predict exactly what the new jobs will be, but from various economic experts, we do know the skills that will be needed. As educators, we also know how student-centered online schools are helping to develop those skills.
Complex Problem Solving: In the industrial age of the early 20th century, employers needed workers who could simply show up on time and follow instructions. Reflecting those needs, our public education system emphasized "seat time," rote memorization, and basic skills development. But in the information age of the 21st century, employers ...