In our children’s formative and most important years, we feel it is necessary to educate them. They need to read, write, do Math and understand Science. These are the main skills we must make sure they aquire... Right?
Our brains, from birth, are wired to learn and seek new learning through new experiences daily.
People are purpose maximisers and from our earliest years we seek to discover our PURPOSE, our identity, our aspirations and meaning for our own life.
We know Education SHOULD be multi-faceted, encompassing a range of goals and objectives that will empower our next generation to achieve in the complex world they will walk into… bearing in mind - we don’t even know yet what it will look like when they ‘graduate’.
We also know that it is not! Education is NOT empowering our kids across the breadth of skills they need to achieve their aspirations or meet the demands of our future world.
I took a moment to ask Chat CPT “What is Education for today?” and it listed the following:
Critical Thinking and Problem solving skills: Education that cultivates critical thinking and empowers people with analytical skills to evaluate evidence and make informed decisions. To solve complex problems and have the resilience to make a mistake and creatively find solutions or new ways.
Empowerment and Social Mobility: Education being a vehicle for enhancing social and economic status. ‘Changing one’s stars’ if you will.
Personal development: fostering personal growth and self-awareness and encourages individuals to explore their interests, passions and values. It is meant to shape us into well-rounded people that will contribute positively to society.
Citizenship and Civic Engagement: Playing a vital role in developing responsible and informed citizens. It should instill an understanding of civic responsibilities, democratic values, global awareness and the importance of active participation in societal affairs.
Promoting innovation and progress: people who know how to contribute to societal development, innovation and research. Generation of new ideas that fuel advancements in science, tech, arts and humanities.
Preparation for the workforce: Preparing individuals for the job market by equipping them with relevant skills and qualifications. Bridging a gap between academic knowledge and practical application in all professional and personal fields.
Social and Emotional development: enhancing emotional and social capacity through building up self esteem, empathy, communication abilities and emotional intelligence.
Interestingly I don’t see points such as A-C achievement in tests, compliance, following rules, not talking and 'listening', completing worksheets, dealing with high levels of stress or managing shame.
Is the education we are giving our children and young people exactly what they need?
Is the format, content and model of delivery enabling students to gain all of the above skills? Rumour has it … that it does not!
Do want something totally different, relevant and modern that offers a direct pathway into the world of work... empowering youngsters with the RIGHT SKILLS for their future? This Blog outlines what Connect Hub's views on this are and how we are part of the change for our young people's education.
Higher Education or Directly to Work? What is predicted today?
At Connect Hub our focus is to prepare young people for work and life.
When asking about 1,000 young people leaving high school if they would try to go to University, 78% told UNESCO that they had little or no interest. This was due to a plethora of reasons, yet some of the main ones were:
High student debt or no access to college scholarships
Irrelevant to their life goals or aspirations
No need for more time spent in Education when most information can be found and sourced in less time
Want to earn money earlier
Only 38% of young people go on to higher education globally, states UNESCO, which is a rise from the last two decades, yet there is an increase of 44% of families that can afford it.
This leaves a fair statement that the future of Education is shifting away from what has been the norm or aspiration. There is a significant paradigm shift that is evident and young people and their parents are more and more acutely aware of the skills that will not be developed or honed within the education system, yet needed for life.
Connect Hub is a leader in the quest to change the Education platform for young people.
Inviting them into the working world, to study via globally connected, interactive, relevant and meaningful online courses, while interacting and being alongside the working world.
Offering courses that teach real life skills for real life ‘adulting’.
AI taking the lead in Top Tech companies and the workforce
-There’s an APP for that
The integration of AI across the world in various industries, including education, is a topic of discussion and debate. Is it wrong or only new is a question being asked. Is it really new, or just a faster way of researching?
Should AI have a place in Education? Traditional education methods would say no! ‘No cheating’, ‘Don’t get answers from someone else’, ‘Don’t talk or collaborate’. … Yet if we ban it are we not keeping education in the past?
There are however an array of advantages in using AI in your students' education such as personalisation, current and up to date knowledge, analytics in impact or understanding and minimising the digital divide between educators and students.
Yet the main point one must focus on is the fact that learning and knowledge trends are coming from the world of tech and in a world evolving by rapid change, it is imperative that the integration of AI and technology with education happens today.
Young people today are entitled to unlimited resources, cutting edge information, research and technology, global connectivity and international or cultural depth through microlearning and nanolearning opportunities.
Hours spent sitting in endless lectures, learning information that most likely won’t be needed or used, in delivery models that are dry and tedious need to be a thing of the past. \
There’s an APP for that!!!
The brains of today move, think, register and learn FAST. Attention spans are narrowing and curiosity is increasing yet the perception of depth of thought is changing. If education remains in its current state, it will become a thing of the past.
Connect Hub is a place where learning is personalised, globally connected and empowers learners to choose study topics that will directly enhance their life aspirations and unique pathways.
Higher Education Trends
I am now quoting the World Economic Forum, to continue to highlight how changing Education is a global need and area of discussion.
In today's rapidly evolving world, it is increasingly clear that traditional educational models alone are no longer sufficient to meet the demands of a dynamic global society characterized by accelerating complexity. The integration of interactive digital learning tools holds the key to revolutionizing education and empowering learners of all backgrounds. We live in a time when having a systems perspective on the world around us has never been more important.
In the last year, we have started to see examples of true reform, addressing the root causes of the education challenge. Below are four higher education trends we see taking shape in 2022 and beyond.
1. Learning from everywhere
There is recognition that as schools and universities all over the world had to abruptly pivot to online teaching, learning outcomes suffered across the education spectrum. However, the experiment with online teaching did force a reexamination of the concepts of time and space in the education world. There were some benefits to students learning at their own pace, and conducting science experiments in their kitchens. Hybrid learning does not just mean combining a virtual and physical classroom, but allowing for truly immersive and experiential learning, enabling students to apply concepts learned from ‘classroom learning’ out in the real world.
So rather than shifting to a “learn from anywhere” approach (providing flexibility), education institutions should move to a “learn from everywhere” approach (providing immersion). The European business school, Esade, launched a new bachelor’s degree in 2021, which combines classes conducted on campus in Barcelona, and remotely over a purpose-designed learning platform, with immersive practical experiences working in Berlin and Shanghai, while students create their own social enterprise. This kind of course is a truly hybrid learning experience.
2. Replacing lectures with active learning
Lectures are an efficient way of teaching and an ineffective way of learning. Universities and colleges have been using them for centuries as cost-effective methods for professors to impart their knowledge to students.
However, with digital information being ubiquitous and free, it seems ludicrous to pay thousands of dollars to listen to someone giving you information you can find elsewhere at a much cheaper price, and that is often outdated. School and college closures have shed light on this as bad lectures made their way into parents’ living rooms, demonstrating their ineffectiveness.
Education institutions need to demonstrate effective learning outcomes, and some are starting to embrace teaching methods that rely on the science of learning. This shows that our brains do not learn by listening, and the little information we learn that way is easily forgotten (as shown by the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve, below). Real learning relies on principles such as spaced learning, emotional learning, and the application of knowledge.
3. Teaching skills that remain relevant in a changing world
According to a recent survey, 96% of Chief Academic Officers at universities think they are doing a good job preparing young people for the workforce. Less than half (41%) of college students and only 11% of business leaders shared that view. Universities continue to focus on teaching specific skills involving the latest technologies, even though these skills and the technologies that support them are bound to become obsolete. As a result, universities are forever playing catch up with the skills needed in the future workplace.
What we need to teach are skills that remain relevant in new, changing, and unknown contexts. For example, journalism students might once have been taught how to produce long-form stories that could be published in a newspaper; more recently, they would have been taught how to produce shorter pieces and post content for social media. More enduring skills would be: how to identify and relate to readers, how to compose a written piece; how to choose the right medium for your target readership. These are skills that cross the boundaries of disciplines, applying equally to scientific researchers or lawyers.
4. Using formative assessment instead of high-stake exams
If you were to sit the final exam of the subject you majored in today, how would you fare? Most of us would fail, as that exam did not measure our learning, but rather what information we retained at that point in time. Equally, many of us hold certifications in subject matters we know little about.
Many people gain admission to higher education based on standardized tests that skew to a certain socio-economic class, rather than measure any real competency level. Universities then try to rectify this bias by imposing admission quotas, rather than dissociating their evaluation of competence from income level. Many US universities are starting to abandon standardized tests, with Harvard leading the charge, and there have been some attempts to replace high-stake exams with other measures that not only assess learning outcomes but actually improve them.
Formative assessment, which entails both formal and informal evaluations through the learning journey, encourages students to actually improve their performance rather than just have it evaluated. The documentation and recording of this assessment includes a range of measures, replacing alphabetical or numerical grades that are uni-dimensional.
A Life-Long Learner– a skill not taught:
Life-long learning is hardly a new concept in the education world, yet our curriculum demands hinder teachers from empowering their students to develop skills required to become one. Skills such as research, persistence, resilience, problem-solving or critical thinking.
Don’t talk, Don’t cheat, Don’t collaborate, Don’t do it a different way, Don’t cut corners, Don’t ‘google it’
Yet we know, research, collaboration and innovation are the stuff of learning
I am going to quote from an interview with Harvard, excerpts pertinent to this topic and evidence that Education is beginning to change. Connect Hub is moving with this change.
The evident, ever-growing necessity to engage in learning opportunities that will support the many shifts people may take throughout their career is becoming even more prevalent.
We are in the midst of what many experts are calling the ‘knowledge era’, having moved from the ‘Industrial era’ that we as a race were in for so long. The rapid advancement of technology, the intrusion of AI or Chat GPT is causing major disruption to our job market, in nearly every industry.
Our young people will be engaging in jobs or work that we don’t even know what it will look like, or what skills will be needed. They will be designing a world with inventions not yet discovered.
So my question is, why are we only teaching what we know now, in ways that instruct rather than demand research or ‘finding out’?
According to the current Harvard Division of Continuing, Dean Coleman states, “current and future workers face not only changing jobs requiring new or emerging skill sets, but also multiple careers as some occupations disappear and others appear, seemingly overnight”.
In response to this rate of change, I believe our role must be to build critical thinking and communication skills, problem-solving and research skills; long-term capacity enhancing students’ skills for a lifetime of creativity and agility. This is the only way we will ensure the next generation of decision-makers, CEO’s or inventors can tackle tomorrow’s global challenges.
Colleges and Universities are reassessing the traditional educational model and evolving to meet the needs of today’s learners. Offering a variety of programmes to reskill or upskill, from workshops to graduate certificates, to Degrees and Master’s.
‘Typical education’ is rapidly becoming obsolete and what looked like 4 year study paths are significantly altering. Online education, online degrees, distance learning, online courses or qualifications online are all slogans highly searched or shared on the internet today. There is a demand and a thirst for a new form of Education and the world is responding to it.
We don’t need endless hours per year in front of lecturers or textbooks. We can access information quickly, there is a wealth of it and it's new… so spending time on outdated pre-conditioned knowledge is pointless and a downright waste of our youth’s developing years.
New Pathways for Education:
There are new curriculums in Universities and colleges globally, presented online, that are not traditionally operated. How not? you might ask…
Students choose what kind of education or training is right for them and their life aspirations
They can achieve expectations in under 4 hours a day, giving them time to engage in other meaningful development activities.
They are globally connected, linking them to students in all four corners of the globe, under the same learning intention.
Courses are linked to practical challenges that engage them in honing skills rather than just acquiring knowledge.
The life long learner isn’t a single persona. It could be a young person entering the job market right after their degree or someone who is going back to do a degree after years in work. Maybe even a Ph.D holder looking to improve skills or increase knowledge.
Connect Hub not only provides a desk and a community for people who are studying, but also links learners with mentors, appropriate and reputable courses and a support structure.
We facilitate collaboration between the working professional and students, enabling a cross fertilization of skills, expertise, ideas, culture and knowledge. There is a lot that each generation can learn from the other…
If you agree with this and are looking for a more current, meaningful and empowering style of Education for your college age student… 16 and above, Contact us, Visit our Website or Call us to find out more We look forward to meeting your needs and building a learning community fit for the 21st Century.