Technology and Learnability … Gearing Up for the Future
We are observing that increased technology usage is leading to shrinking of jobs but accept that there is growth in some sectors too. The world is gearing up for an age where artificial intelligence and robots will take over and replace human beings in some sectors; some jobs are changing faster than others. It is becoming harder to predict what the future holds, but with technological and cultural shifts come fresh opportunities, and new and unexpected jobs will be created all the time.
Predicting the requirement of technical knowledge and teachable skills, mathematics and computing hold sway with greatest job growth concentrated in the industries of engineering, programming and finance. Technological revolution is going to change the employment trend in a significant way. The workforce that will help in this transition is the community of teachers.
Learnability is the key and learnability quotient an important personal attribute in the above scenario. What is Learnability? Collin’s dictionary defines ‘learnability’ as ‘the quality of being learnable’. It is felt that our present young millennials value new skills so highly that many are willing to spend their own time and money to acquire them. Learnability Quotient reflects one’s desire and ability to grow and adapt to new circumstances and challenges of work life. Are all our teachers adapting to the changing world and adaptive to changing approach to training and skilling up?
At the World Economic Forum, a report was released, where Mr. Junas Presing, Chairman & CEO of Manpower Group shared that in the skill revolution that is taking place, an organization will face its biggest challenge in helping people up skill and adapt to the fast changing work scene. In school we are all experiencing it as digitization of school system at all levels – teacher learning process, communication between school and parent body, school bus transport system, etc. It has forced schools to not only skill up teachers but other school staff and parents as well.
Since the rate of technological advancement or globalization cannot be slowed, organizations are forced to invest more and more in importing employee skills to increase the resilience of the organization. Schools are adapting to this change by training their teachers in digital literacy and technical knowledge of handling smart board equipment, tablets and app based approach in the classroom and student management. They are also learning to adapt and integrate technology in planning collaborating with other schools through various communication tools like edmodo, whatsapp, google classroom to name a few. The bus drivers and conductors are learning to handle GPS related equipment and also handling of tech savvy procedures and gadgets. Administrative and leadership teams are being trained to monitor and supervise all activities electronically with use of apps, ERP solutions, etc.
As school are facing a resource crunch with respect to these huge deliverables, they prefer to hire people with certain technical qualifications from the beginning. So more and more people are willing to invest their time and money to learn new skills and stay relevant and employable – typically showing characteristics of learnability.
School administrations have caught on to the emotive appeal of learnability and are offering various professional development courses to their teaching community with various contribution models. Teachers are willing and enthusiastically participating as otherwise they will not get an opportunity to train and skill up. With the option of short two-day weekend certificate to week long certification, teachers are using their resources and time to help them move up the administrative ladder.
Reviewing today’s teacher pool age group, there are some teachers who began their career in 1980s while some jumped into it as millennials. Many schools are facing the biggest battle of changing the mindset of the old set of teachers, who are not willingly adapting to shifting of teaching learning process outside the school walls and be with each other 24 x 7. Technology has reduced personal space and time, and the trend is nowhere moving out but is here to stay. It will not be possible to make better schools by just focusing on student achievement and curriculum enhancement, without training teachers faster and in large numbers. The volume of teacher training required can be easily achieved by schools, based on the concept of learnability.
Virtual tools, networking has opened up borderless learning territories for all including teachers. Many teacher leaders have begun to use tools like ‘experience beaming’ to spread their teaching expertise more readily to fellow practitioners, underscoring the value of expert teachers in a society and economy resting more and more on information science. This is available freely on the internet and teachers willing to learn more and skill up just need to reach out to them in the e-world.
Collaboration across the community of teachers is increasing, as is mentoring teachers across the globe through reaching out to them through professional networking sites. This individualization of learning and sharing where an individual professional is willing to invest time in asking for help and guidance as well as providing help and guidance showcases learnability in the simplest form.
Teachers need to think of themselves as knowledge workers and society needs to accept them as such.
A passionate educator with over two decades of experience in CBSE,CIE and IB curriculum, who holds postgraduate degree in education, mathematics .I have taught mathematics and theory of knowledge in top international schools of repute .Teaching and learning, curriculum planning and assessments are my core areas of expertise.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org