As the mother of a high school student and a leader at a global technology distributor, I see the opportunity for our educational systems to modernize their curricula to better prepare students for life after graduation. The rapid evolution of new technology and the ever-quickening pace required to compete in the global marketplace has brought about a new level of convergence between technology and business. “Prosumers” (professional consumers) have emerged in the workplace with the expectation that companies will conform to their individual computing preferences. The proliferation of personal mobile devices has created a new generation of business professionals that integrate work tools and social media into their communications and processes. This digitized humanity requires radical rethinking of business cultures, communication protocols, collaboration zones, and connectivity patterns. As the technical landscape of the dynamic marketplace changes, so do the fundamental competencies required to compete in the new business world.
Students adapt rapidly to technological changes. They think digitally, interact virtually, collaborate simultaneously with technology and people, and multi-task at a dizzying rate. Their 24-hour connectivity instills a borderless mindset insensitive to traditional time zone restrictions. They quickly synthesize data from multiple sources to formulate new ideas and solutions. So how do schools leverage this technical aptitude?
I believe that technology can be a great economic equalizer. It makes learning accessible from any place, at any time, to any student, while offering high-quality resources and interactive experiences. Tablets, laptops, and broadband access lighten the burden of heavy textbooks and allow curricula to be updated more frequently while engaging students with learning through simulations and real-time assessments. Online content delivery outside of the classroom compresses learning time, allowing for more skill building to follow in the classroom. This instills teamwork, logical reasoning, and complex problem solving leading to strategic thinking and quality decision making.
In my opinion, we’ve reached an inflection point at which it’s imperative that technology and education converge to evolve curricula and its method of delivery. Progressive direction from educational systems is needed now. These advancements will ensure that our children have the required technological skills and competencies required to transition successfully into the increasingly complex world in which they will compete.