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The Future of Work and Education

Launch of the EdTech, Skills, and Future of Work (FoW) Series: The role of EdTech in developing the Skills for the FoW.

The 2020 World Economic Forums report on the Future of Jobs predicts that by 2025, the amount of time spent on current tasks at work by humans and machines will be equal. In a mere four years from now, technological adoption by companies will completely restructure the workforce around the world, and investment in the use of contractors will be at an all-time high. ( So look out, your next work buddy might be an A.I.)

The COVID-19 recession was a major eye-opener for businesses and the potential of accessing specialized services using cloud computing and remote applications played a major role in the emergent business framework.

While the destruction of jobs currently outpaces the creation of new jobs (a 6.4% decline in redundant position vs a 5.7% growth in new positions) there continues to be a massive skill gap in the workforce. Humans, machines, and algorithms continue to swirl in a changing landscape of automation and deliberate restructuring for efficiency.

On average, it is estimated around 40% of workers around the world will require reskilling of six months or less, while 94% of world business leaders expect to see a rapid rise in the adoption of new skills on the job in this same period.

The top skills in this new landscape revolve around critical thinking and analysis, problem solving, self-management skills like active learning, resilience and flexibility.

Rapid digitization of working processes to accommodate the expansion into remote work also means the need to develop digital skills as a community. Some say the Future of Work is now, and the top-rated digital skills to learn in 2021 include Affiliate Marketing, Digital Project Management, Machine Learning, UI/UX Design, Data Science and Data Analysis, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Artificial Intelligence. And that’s all with a helpful topping of Creativity.

So where does EdTech come into the picture?

The workforce of tomorrow will be defined by their ability to quickly adapt to a changing landscape, and adopt new solutions relatively quickly. Efficiency will be determined by how fast workers are able to learn, unlearn and relearn different skills, and whether or not this process makes or breaks them. EdTech solutions today are geared towards developing these skills in learners all around the world and of all ages.

Common Sense Education lists some tools designed to improve critical thinking and analysis including Youth Radio, Civilization V, TED-Ed, and even Minecraft. Flipped Classroom tools like Camtasia and community problem-solving projects on Socrative are examples of tools that are applied to encourage Active Learning and the development of learning strategies.

There is a myriad of tools designed to give learners the opportunity to grow these skills centered around technology use, problem-solving, teamwork, and self-management, and the list grows daily.

So starting this week, we will be exploring some of the popular and the more niche tools that are designed around the different skills.

Over the next couple of weeks, look out for new EdTech solutions that are designed to turn today’s students into tomorrow’s industry leaders.

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