Edupreneurs – The people changing education
There are few sectors more important in the world than education, yet the basic makeup of many schools does not look all that different from how they did one hundred years ago. In an era where the world is changing at an incredibly rapid pace, education needs to be ahead of the curve. Aaron Tait is an impact innovator and is optimistic about the changes that are happening in schools, led by teachers, school leaders, entrepreneurs and most importantly kids, and at the Florence Guild event will share both a positive outlook for the future alongside some practical tools for those who want to be part of the next wave of education change.
Schools have always aimed to give their students, our future workforce, the skills and knowledge to prosper in the wider world, although the approaches taken have varied wildly. However, today’s economy and workforce are changing at a faster pace than ever before and many schools are struggling to keep up with these changes.
Where do the opportunities lie for our future workforce?
Rather than focussing on one trade or skill for life, today’s school-leavers will now be faced with over a dozen different jobs across multiple industries during their lifetime – and that’s not a bad thing! While many routine jobs will soon become automated, jobs that require critical thinking, creativity, and interpersonal skills, for example, will be where the opportunities lie. Workers will be expected to apply these skills in different situations, including in multidisciplinary teams or as consultants in different industries and the chances are, they will be working in areas we haven’t even conceived yet.
So, what can schools do now to help prepare their students for life in the future workforce?
How can schools embrace new approaches and technologies?
Aaron believes there are many ways schools can embrace new approaches and technologies to help their students achieve success in the years to come including:
- Using VR and augmented reality to allow students to ‘travel’ to other countries and experience their wonders. For example, ‘walking’ through the Louvre can help students appreciate the scale of each painting and to examine their texture and brushstrokes up close.
- Gamifying aspects of education, such as mathematics or geography. Video games are already being successfully used in some areas in schools, but their potential to engage students in learning, especially in STEM subjects, is only starting to be realised.
- Implementing ‘Deeper Learning’ curriculums which allow students to question the world around them, reflect on the values that drive choices in their communities, research and analyse the ways things could be done better, and design ways to effectively introduce their preferred solutions.
Aaron shared real-life stories of schools and education start-ups from South Africa to the United States that are already reshaping how schools work, and how organisations like Google and Microsoft are making quality education more accessible.
Aaron Tait is the co-founder and Director of Innovation at Education Changemakers and the founder of Edupreneur 2017, Australia’s first K-12 focused edtech conference. Aaron discussed how many new players in the global education field are making us think differently about how schools can be restructured to empower both students and teachers at a local and global level.
Aaron’s LinkedIn: Aaron Tait
Aaron’s Twitter: @aaronjtait
Education Changemakers: educationchangemakers.com
Aaron’s Book, Edupreneur: Edupreneur: Unleashing Teacher Led Innovation in Schools by Aaron Tait and Dave Faulkner
YGAP – Spark: sparkinternational.org/spark-ygap
This episode forms part of our 2018 series narrative, ‘The Art of Focus’ which is based on the premise that, in an information-dense society, our attention resources have become depleted. The series’ speakers will help us identify and explore the areas in our lives where we may need to regain focus, increase our self-awareness and improve how we interact with those around us.
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