Predictions like "30% of UK jobs will be replaced by technology" (http://ow.ly/O8j11)or “50% of Jobs in Australian will be Automated”, (http://ow.ly/O8iA9) "2 Billion Jobs Will Disappear by 2030”(http://ow.ly/O8jqY) are being touted around the world. Right or wrong, good or bad - this is the uncertain future many students are facing. By not using or worse, not allowing mobile devices to be used, is robbing students of skill development.
The key to success for current students is to be adaptable and creative. In fact, IBM released a study on leadership qualities businesses are looking for in today's graduates and "creativity" was the top skill identified. (http://ow.ly/O8jIl)
At Connect, we are trying to prepare students for this change. We have created a mobile, digital environment to help students prepare to communicate in English over the next 15 years.
And we have seen some amazing steps forward by students.
First - they stop using pens and papers.
The first shift students make is to stop using pens and paper. The way they do schoolwork is very different. It is a big change for students to suddenly learn to do work digitally if they are use to working with paper and taking notes. It also takes time to learn to work digitally. But once they get over this hurdle, they start develop different skills such as improved typing, taping, swiping, pasting etc. It is quite amazing to witness.
Second - they start to learn to use some cool apps.
“Is there an App for that?” - that is the common expression we are beginning to hear. New Apps are being introduced almost daily. And some of these new Apps are simply amazing. They make the job of studying much easier. Students start to learn to use apps like Notability or iMovie in ways we never imagined. Plus, teachers are bringing in different apps to try in the class that make the student much more engaged.
Third - they learn the skill of collaboration.
Sharing on Facebook and Social Media is common. Unfortunately, sharing in work and in education is still a new concept. In Connect, students work together on projects and we expect sharing and collaboration. That can be done together in a group or online. It is a new skill that requires time to develop. Some cultures are not used to sharing work and being open with their opinions. It is an entirely new process for them. It is one of the most challenging steps for students to go through.
Lastly - they begin to personalize their learning experiencing.
The last and final step we are seeing is that our students can personalize their learning. They take charge of their education. They feel confident to find answers by themselves. They are creative and flexible. These students are ready to go out and tackle the world’s problems.
Our challenge is to upgrade the workforce to give students of Connect a better chance at success. There is huge potential in many industries if people have the right skills. We can't bury our heads in the sand and ignore the potential challenges future generations are facing.
Connect School of Languages is a 1:1 iPad English as a Second Language (ESL) school in downtown Toronto, Canada. It uses digital textbooks that students can download and study with. For more information, visit: www.connectlanguage.com