August 10, 2022

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Will the Rise of Technology Change What is Taught in Schools?

A lot of school curriculums around the world were designed before the Internet, and there are questions about how relevant they are in the modern technological age. Educational curriculums may have to be altered to accommodate the reality of a future in which people may be competing with artificial intelligence for jobs.

Today’s generations are growing up surrounded by technology, often becoming adept at using electrical devices at a young age. By the time they are ready to enter the working world, things will have advanced even more. That’s why schools need to do more to prepare people.

Younger Generations are Growing up With Technology

There are distinct differences between the way that age demographics engage with the Internet/social media and technology, in general. People who remember a world before the Internet are on the decline, and the younger generations of today struggle to imagine a scenario in which they are unable to post online. Most young people now own at least a smartphone and have more than one social media account. On top of that, they spend at least five hours per day browsing the web. 

The devices that people have in their pockets arguably negate the need to learn a lot of things in school. Older generations will remember their maths teachers back in the day, claiming that people will never be carrying calculators around in their pockets. Oh, how wrong they were.

Not only do today’s students have calculators at hand, but they also have sprawling online search engines. These are packed with more knowledge than a thousand school libraries could contain. There are apps for measuring, solving problems, and discovering scientific processes too.

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This begs the question as to whether the likes of maths and science should still be regarded as core subjects. Surely, it would make more sense to spend a greater amount of time teaching today’s youths how to be masters of the technology they have at their fingertips.

Humans Will Soon Have to Compete with AI for Jobs

It’s no secret that artificial intelligence is creeping into society. It’s already present on smartphones and in smart homes, and by the mid-2030s, 30 per cent of jobs could be automated. If that comes to fruition, it’s hard to say what school leavers at that time will do for work.

Education establishments should, therefore, be gearing today’s students up for careers that can’t be done by AI. Or, at least, fields in which humans will still play a crucial part. For example, computer programming and robotics seem like essential things to be taught in schools right now.

Schools do have computer programs in place, but they are still nowhere near as comprehensive as they should be. Coding is arguably more useful than maths or science and should be taught as frequently as these subjects have been in the past. It would also be a good idea to include eSports alongside regular PE lessons, as this industry is expected to be worth almost $5 billion by 2030.

There’s no denying that the core subjects that have always been taught in school are vital in giving students a rounded skillset. However, it may be better to push these back a bit to make space for a greater focus on futuristic subjects that will be useful in the 2030s and beyond.

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