Educating Digital Leaders of Tomorrow
I got an invite from Education Air via LinkedIn to look at a wider view of digital transformation by exploring the future of education and technology with a community of teachers, students, researchers, Googlers and business leaders.
I attended some of the conference topics and detail the outcomes and my findings below;
The nurturing of ‘Practical Innovation’ seemed to be a key development focus. How to do this? Well the message was clear that a course of action was needed to prepare students to be Digital Leaders of tomorrow through the incorporation of Digital activities as a normal part of their Life skills. Life skills that will increase active teamworking, problem solving and community collaboration to establish much needed 21st Century skills to bridge the gap between digital literacy, education, social media and business.
Finding the skills gap should be the first action in order to ascertain the direction of future developments. Gaining a true understanding of the current mindsets through surveys, discussions, work groups etc to then take steps to fill that gap. The use of past and present skills should help to develop the key component of Collaboration as part of a greater sum, as skills get combined with others to help aid solutions. This process is now being seen more widely as students move away from rote learning and ‘learn to fail to grow’, indeed it was mentioned that Finland reward their students for failure, to help them know it is ok to fail.
Allowing the students to succeed on their own, think for themselves and make choices and solutions were key messages throughout the conference topics. It is important to see, hear and take action on the ‘Student Voice’ such as their opinion, thought process, ideas, co-collaboration and how they see themselves. There must be a genuine appreciation that students can also have the answers to many of the issues, therefore creating a shift of power and knowledge within the teacher student relationship, whereby they become partners, to make better use of technology, programming, project working within their environment.
In the past, a lot of time was spent creating fancy technology that wasn’t necessarily required or didn’t meet the needs of the customer base.
In current times large roll-outs are delivered as pilots with the right mix of coaches to implement, test and learn products/services in an interative fashion, in order to provide technology that not only meets requirements but exceeds them.
It was stressed that the digital transformation learning initiative was not just about technology, but using technology as a tool to support education by inviting students to take a more active role in the decision making process and establishing explicit stakeholders to increase effective collaboration. Creating and making available access to training and allowing students to interrogate and search products/services for themselves and develop life skills to aid rapid response to change.
Life skills for the Big picture of digital transformation include such things as marketing the use of Live messaging services so the shyer people can liaise and raise questions. Preparing digital leaders through allowing students to create solutions and giving them a platform to arrange events, use digital devices i.e. Ipads, personal tablets, google chrome books, google play for education, 3G access, Google hangouts(help with homework), video recording facilities etc to deliver presentations to the their key audience.
The Education Air conference was definitely of interest to educators in all roles and also to many parents, students and citizens. Although the sessions in the conference focussed on education it was really interesting to see the thinking behind their digital learning initiative and its integral key components which, to me, can be transferred to any business looking to transform both digitally and culturally.
Digital Learning Initiative Key components;
- Assessing the skills gap
- Collaboration and Community
- Iteration – Test and Learn
- Allowing challenge
- Accessibility to digital devices and training
- Engagement – Coaching, Presenting, Educating
Twitter – #googleeduair