“The growing role of education as the engine of economic change makes the work happening to transform our schools and classrooms fundamental to global progress…we need to inspire students to embrace a limitless future and see their learning as purposeful to what they can make and do.” (Anthony Salcito, the Vice President of Worldwide Education Microsoft). Digital Transformation is fast becoming an indisputable force of industry and is revolutionising businesses around the world. We see new innovations and services, as well as technologies and solutions that will shape life as we know it. These advancements are far-reaching and have a significant impact on schools as well as life. The students of today are already existing in a digitally saturated world and will lead a future that is very different from the one we have right now.
So, how do we prepare them for it?
In 2018, Microsoft released a comprehensive Transforming Education Guide that brings together the best practices from decades of experience in education research. With global insights, it is a practical resource for educators and leaders and addresses essential aspects of holistic education transformation. The guide also outlines the expectation of and from students, and how best to shape them as the leaders of tomorrow. Already, we know that qualities like critical thinking, collaboration, creative problem solving, self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, and the ability to construct complex solutions are vital parts of modern day success. Regardless of the subject area, these are skills that are now vital for the workplace we are moving toward. For this reason, it is critical that educators create condition were students have the opportunity to develop capabilities and skillsets that will help them thrive tomorrow, and not just with the technology of today.
An Industrial Revolution
The technological changes we are seeing now have been dubbed the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’. Its impact is changing schools and teaching practices and displays how emerging technologies, such as analytics and artificial intelligence, are helping students develop a greater understanding of the world around them, while also allowing teachers to interpret individual capabilities better and support new approaches to learning.
Labour economists collaborating on the Microsoft Education Guide agree that technology requirements are fundamental for most jobs in a modern age. Right now, one in two jobs worldwide require technological skill, and in less than a decade, it is predicted that three of four jobs will require deep and specific technical skills. This means that students need to develop skills now; ones that focus less on transferring knowledge and more about using it. Schools need to refocus their curriculums to embrace an already apparent skills shift. Canadian schools have already begun to incorporate this into their vision statements, redefining schools as “a place to discover and find one’s dignity, purpose, and future options.” The World Economic Forum goes on to reinforce this, saying that “education is our deepest source of hope – we must plant the seeds for a better future tomorrow...the education system will need to adapt to prepare individuals for the changing labour market.”
Fast Track Success
However, transforming an entire education intuition, while exciting and essential, can be fraught with stumbling blocks. Fortunately, The Microsoft Education Framework helps deliver research and experience-driven way to fast track success for schools. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to explore why digital transformation is so necessary for student success and will delve into the who, what, when, where, how, and why of improving opportunities for teachers and students alike.
If you would like to find out more about how digital technologies are influencing your classroom, contact MOQdigital today.