Future of Education Event Recap

A recap of the presentation given by Frances Valintine, CEO & Founder of The Mind Lab, at our recent Future of Education event on March 11th.

What levers of change are influencing the decisions and actions of students? What major factors are providing uncertainty and creating anxiety in today’s world? And what do we, as educators, do about it? Frances talks to some big themes below:

1. The world is changing rapidly (forest fires, NZ drought, COVID-19, climate change)

  • Education should not be and is not exempt from that change, we need to focus more on how to contextualise learning in contemporary situations and build connections to the world our youth lives in. 
  • We need to prepare students for their future, not the future we think we know.

2. We are well into the Digital Age                  

  • Our world is mobile first and always on/media and social media influence/ubiquitous wifi/ 5G/the Internet of Things (IoT). 
  • This generation has no knowledge of a world before the internet.
  • We must start thinking digital-first, in everything we do, and everything we teach.

3. We are all in this together, so let’s empathise and collaborate

  • No one person should claim ‘I have nailed this’. We live with ambiguity – anyone can teach and anyone can learn.
  • Perspective: there is very little that is black or white so it is very important to be open to new information, different points of views and a wide variety of influences.
  • Help students to validate facts and build deeper understanding of good sources of information and knowledge.
  • Build understanding of the influence media/social media has on the amplification of information.
  • Find sources of information that students relate to.

4. We are no longer analogue or paper-based

  • Everything is online/digitised – banking, booking, shopping, reviewing, researching, processes and paper systems
  • APPS/mobile devices, paperless workplaces, distributed workforces and remote working are driving new behaviour and expectation.
  • Education is predominantly paper-based – it’s our role to maximise learning and access through digitalising education

5. We’re educating a completely different Gen Alpha/Gen Z (9-23 years)

  • The new student generations promote their voice and their expectations better than other generations as they have the connections, the contacts and the platforms for amplification.
  • Most have 3 main devices to connect to the world (mobile/tablet/PC/gaming consoles).
  • We need to give APLHA/GEN Z the right tools to learn in their world.
  • We must adapt to change by, as teachers and educators, ensuring we are learning as much as our students are.
  • It is important not to get stuck in analogue mode.

6. All those working in education are leaders, whether they embrace it or not

We need to be aware of the changing role of a leader. More than ever, leadership is defined by example. If we need to encourage curiosity, continuous learning and adaptability, we need to embody those attributes.

  • Leading change takes courage but comes with great reward.
  • If you serving your students your role as a leader will be stronger and more impactful.
  • Learn to evolve and adapt. Don’t fall back on what you know or what you are comfortable with, stay future focused.

7. JOY: The reason Frances entered the education industry

  • The ability to apply and be creative comes from knowledge gained.
  • Through joy comes a willingness to learn and to be challenged.
  • Passion and advocating for your students  speaks louder and is more powerful than being ‘right’.
  • Students learn best when they are happy & confident.
  • Changing your perspective gives you many new lens to see the world with.
  • Learning inspires deep joy; faces light up as the world around makes more sense.

8. You can’t ride this out: the change we are experiencing is accelerating and disconnecting means you disconnect from more than just your job

  • Now is not the time to seek support to maintain analogue and traditional classroom practice.
  • You cannot ride out the digitisation of education. You must act.

9. There are infinite indicators of advancement in industry already

  • Superhuman jet-packs are being used for transportation.
  • Robot watch dogs are now for sale: AI, Machine/digital, adaptable/programmable, battery operated.
  • Digital Humans exist: based on real humans, bringing new education into new environments, with the capability for student personalisation (how do we integrate this kind of thinking and digitisation into a teaching environment?)
  • We all live and work in interconnected ecosystems. No sector can operate in a silo.

10. Future jobs are different to what we’ve known before

  • We will not we lose our jobs – we will lose many job functions
  • There are more jobs than ever before, but less skilled talent.
  • Everyone can see changes in: Job titles/seek ads/industries/sectors etc. They’re completely different to 10 years ago, even 5 years ago.
  • We need to know how to use digital and technology skills to operate in 2020 and beyond
  • Contemporary environments are more and more prominent (already starting to see the focus on these in Seek ads).
  • There is an absence of information about the number and scope of today’s job market and a lack of knowledge about current and future opportunities.
  • New roles are constantly adapting to the digital and contemporary work style.

Things to ponder

  • What would you achieve if you had no fear of failing?
  • Why is innovation important?
  • What have you done in the past 24 hours that you couldn’t imagine last week?
  • Where are your weak points in the adoption of new teaching or innovation practices?


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