What is remote learning?
Remote learning, which is also called online learning or distance learning, is when students learn somewhere else other than their classroom, without their teacher being physically present. In most cases, remote learning takes place online on platforms like Zoom.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing measures and the health and safety of both teachers and students, throughout 2020 and much of 2021, students have been remote learning. Students have had to adapt to this new learning style and schools have had to learn how to leverage technology to deliver educationally enriching content to students.
How does technology prepare students for the future?
In today’s century digital age, it is inevitable that technology is going to be a big part of children and students’ lives. It is unlikely that you will be able to find future careers that do not involve technology in one way or another, so it’s important to ensure students get used to using technological tools.
Critical thinking skills
One skill that is essential and that employers look for in a candidate is critical thinking and the use of technology allows this skill to develop much faster. When students are given a task with limited information, using online resources allows their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to evolve more quickly.
With the help of technology, they can sort problems out far sooner as all they might need to know or understand can be found online. This motivates students to rely on their own abilities instead of having to lean on other people for answers, both at school and in the workforce.
In the modern workforce, much of the communication that occurs is through a digital medium. Communicating with fellow employees or clients through email is integral in order to get things done and keep people in the loop. Many companies today use newsletters and other such online mediums of communication in order to ensure everyone in the company stays updated. If children know how to use technology to communicate, whether that be on video conference platforms such as zoom or via email, it will prepare students for future jobs.
This is going to be a must for almost all jobs in the future. Technological literacy and the possession of soft skills will not only help you do your job, it will also give you a competitive edge.
How online learning is preparing students for remote working
Online learning has given students far more independence than they were given in the classroom as they did not have the luxury of a teacher's undivided attention and the comfort and familiarity of a classroom. They instead had to manage their own time at home and ensure they clocked in to lessons from their bedrooms.
It could have been easy for many students to ignore their responsibility to turn up as they were not being held accountable for it in the same way as they would have been in real life. They therefore had to take the initiative themselves and participate in classes from home. As students were in charge of their own time, they were able to set tasks and goals that were achievable in a time frame that worked for them.
One of the key ways in which online learning has prepared students for the real world is by showing them how to achieve a realistic work-life balance. Remote learning allows students to learn how to separate work and home life which is integral for when they join the workforce.
How do you prepare students for the jobs of the future?
It is the responsibility of schools to prepare kids for life outside of school and in the workforce. However, knowing what the workforce is going to look like in the future is complex. Every day, new digital inventions are created so we are likely going to see a future dictated by artificial intelligence, robotics and business. Whilst the traditional skills of writing and mathematics will still be needed, they will be merged with other digital formats.
Here are some things that schools can do to help prepare their students for the changing landscape of the workforce:
Project based learning
Project-based learning is a must to set students up for future jobs. PBL gets students actively involved in real life projects in order to supplement their learning alongside their normal curriculum.
This gives students the chance to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting, as opposed to being limited to the classroom, which is what will be required of them in the workforce. It will expose them to obstacles and force them to use their critical thinking and problem solving skills.
In addition, it will help them develop communication skills as they must actively engage with people in the community and the public, not only those they feel comfortable with like their teachers and peers.
Offering classes in subject areas that are going to dominate the job market in the future is a great way to give students a head start. As previously highlighted, proficiency and technological literacy is integral to succeed in the job market, so if students are able to include coding classes on their CVs, they will have a competitive edge.
Moreover, coding, and other similar digital based jobs are going to be the kinds of jobs that make a lot of money in the future, which is likely where many students are going to be gravitating towards. It will also give students the opportunity to discover areas they might be interested in that they otherwise wouldn't have been exposed to as it opens up the STEM area of study and work.
Entrepreneurial courses are all encompassing courses which seek to foster all the skills that students are going to need in the workplace. From critical and problem-solving skills, to emotional and social intelligence, entrepreneurial courses can offer students a place outside of their academic curriculum to build up these necessary skills. These kinds of courses can also teach technological and digital literacy in order to fully prepare students for the working world.
What skills will students need in the future?
Although the skills that employers have always looked for such as good communication and teamwork will still be needed, there will also be new skills that employers will be looking for.
The current working landscape is extremely globalized. It is becoming increasingly easier and therefore more common for businesses to create global links and work abroad in different countries.
Students therefore need to be culturally aware and respectful and understand that when they enter the workforce they will be working with people from all over the world all with different backgrounds and cultures. Cultural sensitivity will therefore be an essential skill to possess.
Creativity is needed in every kind of career. Being able to think outside of the box and come up with innovative ideas will place you above the rest and ensure you have a competitive advantage. Moreover, as the world is getting increasingly more complicated and developments are taking place at a rapid speed, you need to have a creative mind to ensure advancements can be made in an already over-saturated market.