Recognising and removing the barriers to technology in education will be fundamental to realising the benefits of new-technologies in business.
We are experiencing a period of rapid technological advancement in industry. It is a transformation that is taking place across a wide range of sectors, from medicine to manufacturing, legal to advertising.
In this shifting landscape, understanding what the future might bring is vital. Preparing for that future will require a framework of education that is able to adapt. In recent research conducted by Epson, we were keen to understand this emerging industrial landscape, and how European experts and employees expect a future augmented by technology to change.
But how do we prepare the next generation for this fundamental technological shift?
Finding the skills
The modern European landscape is already facing a growing skills shortage. The Cedefop European Skills and Job Survey revealed that over a fifth of European adults currently have lower skills than are needed when entering a job. If this is the situation today, it highlights significant challenges in tackling the problems of tomorrow.
Education and training have, and will always be, the foundation for ensuring the workforce is ready to adapt to new challenges. The question becomes, in a time of rapid change, how do we ensure that education is able to keep up? As with any such shift, hurdles to this technological transformation are already beginning to emerge.
Positivity is not the only challenge
The good news is that attitudes to new technologies are largely buoyant within the European workforce. 63 percent of respondents in Epson’s study expressed an overall positive sentiment to the implementation of new technology. However, there are apparent threats to the quality of future education and its ability to deliver the required skill sets of a modern workforce.
Financial investment into education is one hurdle that must be overcome, with 47 percent of respondents highlighting this as a concern. Teacher training offers another hurdle, something raised by 40 percent of employees. Likewise, the challenge of out-dated technology is something that 34 percent of respondents are wary of.
Aside from the challenges of implementing educational change, ensuring it is of the highest quality will also be crucial. Fifty percent of respondents believe that teaching quality will diminish as teachers are expected to learn and use more technology. Furthermore, 60 percent of respondents believe teachers are not equipped to train students with the necessary skills required to use the technology that will become commonplace over the next decade.
A positive attitude to education
The reality is that technological transformation is set to revolutionise many sectors. Education is just one area braced to feel the impact. It is also the area that could have the biggest impact on the ultimate success of technological transformation within businesses and industry, and it is within education that our future workforce will be made ready.
We need to ensure we meet the challenges limiting the adoption and understanding of technology in education, and be positive about the changes ahead. The good news is that 61 percent of respondents within education stated they would be willing to retrain for their future role. This attitude of positivity is encouraging, but it is vital we all support the developing educational framework to ensure our collective success.