Creating a digitally-ready workforce - Education Matters Magazine
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Creating a digitally-ready workforce

According to Acer, the workplace of the future will be unrecognisable from the working world of today. The challenges students will face in a world dominated by rapidly advancing technology will be significantly different from the ones faced by Baby Boomers, Gen X and even Millennials.

Creating a digitally-ready workforce all begins at the education level and addressing this future is somewhat already underway. The students of today are being taught technology as a subject, however little is being done in incorporating technology into schools to enhance overall learning and give students the soft skills required for success in a career.

Teachers are finding themselves faced with the challenges of growing administrative pressures and the burden of adhering to strict curriculums and standardised testing. What’s clear is that Australian teachers are facing an uphill battle, one in which technology is constantly changing and requiring new digital skills. The good news is that there are solutions that can alleviate these pressures and enable teachers to focus on what really matters; fostering a digitally-ready workforce.

Schools can equip classrooms with technologies like the Spin 5 which can enhance the 1:1 interaction between teachers and students. By allowing teachers to give live feedback to their students through the device, improvements can be made and students can make changes to their work in real time. Additionally, solutions such as Windows 10 will enhance the ability of educators to adapt to a fast-paced teaching environment through added security and constant cloud access which allows them to retrieve valuable files anywhere at any time.

Faced with growing administrative tasks, standardised curriculums, teaching methods and tests, teachers are struggling to educate students in a way that every student can benefit from. There is increased pressure on teachers to educate students in a way that will maximise test results and with this comes the prioritisation of administrative and reporting tasks, sometimes over student learning. In order to prepare students for a digitally-ready workforce, teachers must be equipped with the digital tools and innovative technology they need to get back to doing what made them want to become teachers in the first place; teaching the next generation.

So how can we reduce time-consuming administrative tasks with technology?

One way is through facial recognition with tools such as MyClassroom, which is Acer’s leading-edge facial recognition technology that simplifies classroom attendance management, while improving the overall safety of students. Through automated classroom attendance tracking integrated with the school’s management system, teachers are relieved of the reporting burden through tedious yet necessary administrative tasks such as taking the roll. This frees them up to focus on the higher-value work of giving students the time and recognition they deserve to learn and grow.

Another solution is taking advantage of the rise in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, making it possible for chat bots and programmed machines to act as teacher’s assistants, taking care of the more routine tasks and allowing teachers to prepare and teach more effectively. While most of these technologies are in their infancy, they have the potential to help teachers to become more effective educators and can help streamline processes and provide proper checkpoints for teachers to manage and track the progress and development of their students. While there are concerns that adopting AI could pose an existential risk that teachers will be replaced altogether, it is important to remember that a machine still cannot complete with the face-to-face interaction or the soft skills that teachers uphold and foster in students.

Shifting the focus back on to student development, it is technology that will ultimately prepare students for the technology-driven job market of tomorrow. It is up to educators, and the tools available to them, to ensure the future of learning is in line with the future of work, particularly as the overarching approach to digitising a classroom has changed. Rather than integrating equipment and software that IT managers have purchased into the classroom, educators now look to identify problem areas and match technology solutions accordingly.

So how can educators harness technology in schools to ensure they effectively prepare students? By looking beyond a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and building the soft skills that set them apart from machines. It is more crucial than ever for students to learn the technical and soft skills required to fit into this new working environment. In a world where computers do everything, the ability to think creatively and communicate clearly as part of a team becomes increasingly valuable.

Technology will and should become an integral part of education; helping teachers to enhance the learning experience by making education more engaging, more collaborative, more connected and more effective, as well as technology for the teachers to reduce administration and enhance the overarching strategy in line with the future of work. More technology in schools is the answer to creating a digitally-ready workforce. A workforce where humans are empowered by technology and harness the full potential of advances in digital technology such as AI.

View Acer’s education buyer’s guide via the link below and contact the business for a technology consultation today at education.aca@acer.com.

Buyer’s Guide
Acer Computer Australia
Ph: 1300 308 056