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What will New Zealand look like in 2037?

Anyone who got to watch TV One’s What Next series last week (yes I’m a bit late) no doubt will have their own opinions about the programme. What interested me most was the discussion around the drivers (climate change, population change automation/technology, environment under immense pressure) for change and the possible/probable/preferred future for NZ in 2037 could/should look like for generations in the future.

public mediaNo surprises the ‘drop the mic’ opener touched on technological developments (billion-fold increase) that are already here and the influence that computers, robotics, computational processing and artificial intelligence will have on our future. Interestingly enough, 86% of voters during the programme thought technology would make our lives better/more prosperous, so long as we continue to address equity issues and don't 'leave people behind'. Coupled with this was the statement that our biggest fears about technology is the world being taken over by robots and more personally, robots taking our jobs. Not just menial type tasks, but jobs across the sector - anything that involves data analysis, applying physics and computational thinking where robots and AI can replace large numbers of workers. No surprises then, that the fastest growing jobs are actually in the technology sector.

Questions were asked like, what impact will this have on our children and their education and are we teaching kids the skills they need for the jobs we don’t even know they need yet?

What next screenshot

We’ve discussed this before in many of the threads in the VLN, so it’s comforting to know that we also agree that we want our kids to be flexible to be able to address problems, solve problems collaboratively and that kids learn differently now and filling heads up with ‘stuff’ and using memory-type learning tasks is losing impact on our learners. Assuming we agree, this means we can ensure; that we don’t carry on doing things because that’s the way we’ve always done things and now we’ve forgotten why we did it at all and we know that we're not powerless to change things at both the classroom and school-wide levels. We're confident that in our classrooms, learning opportunities are real, timely, authentic and sometimes-messy fusion of planned and responsive interventions, where technologies are used in an inclusive and ethical way. 

A new question was asked, should our children prepare for traditional or technology-based careers? 85% of those who voted overwhelmingly said technology-based, but were also mindful that technologies need to be accessible, otherwise people will be lost and left behind.

The programme ended by saying the greatest risk for us as New Zealanders, is sticking to the status quo rather than embracing change.  Which were you, the purple: we’re doing ok group or the orange: thinking outside the box/more interested in radical course correction kind of New Zealander? Or neither, it's just not that simple...

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  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 11 Sep 2017 4:13pm ()

    Thanks Leigh, I appreciated you and Jan-Marie sharing this in the first place.

    There is a slight irony here if we're talking about alternative ways to assess and evaluate quality learning, when we're using our standardised data to compare our data with other countries, but I found it interesting in the end, when he said how some countries are using PISA results/themes to make shifts in the desired direction - ie: for some it means fewer hours of instruction, more focus on less areas etc.

    What could we collectively glean from our results do you think? Do you think we look good when in some aspects we're above the OECD average (some disparities in science)?

    Where do our future needs lie as a country? Is there a way to honor multiple perspectives - ie: bi-cultural partnerships and inclusive education for all?

  • Leigh Hynes (View all users posts) 11 Sep 2017 2:18pm ()

    So pleased you have shared this video, Tessa.  It is an hour long but Andreas Scheicher is well worth listening to.  His big picture view of education for the future across the world is invaluable.  

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 11 Sep 2017 1:00pm ()

    Thought I'd share this great video spotlighted by both Leigh Hynes and Jan-Marie Kellow - an interview with OECD’s Director for Education and Skills Andreas Schleicher published by Global Education & Skills Forum

    In this interview Andreas talks about preparing our students for the future - in terms of social and economic change. He says,

    Most important thing to do is NOT to think about tomorrow’s jobs. 

    He made the reference to teaching young children coding, and cautioned us to think about how rapidly things can change, including jobs and encouraged us to have an open mindset - for openness to new concepts and skills in learning. Bigger concepts/skills/processes like resilience, problem solving, collaborative learning need to be an important focus.

    The issues and challenges lie in conceptualising shared understandings for terms like creativity, resilience. For example, what is emotional intelligence? If we don’t break these down, and find 'common ground with these elements, they won’t become part of the daily teaching in innovative learning environments.

    As Jan-Marie Kellow writes,

    Schleicher went on to say that coding, for example, will look totally different when younger students leave school. This fits with my view that the coding itself is not the important part. The problem-solving and computational thinking will still be relevant, the ability to think logically, to break tasks down into parts and see patterns, to design solutions, to de-bug when things don't work and to re-design, these skills will still be useful and valuable. This is especially important to keep in mind as we consider the draft of the new Digital technologies area of the curriculum.

    What implications do these considerations have on what we teach, how much we teach and what we assess?

    **PISA is best known for globally publishing educational results from contributing OECD countries (including NZ)Find more about the OECD countries involved in the PISA assessment programme.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2017 4:04pm ()

    Gotta love Twitter, check out this PDF document on thinking skills and approaches to learning. Thank you Suzanne Kitto (NZ teacher living in Vietnam). Is this something you could visualise or use in your classrooms?






  • David Farquhar (View all users posts) 29 Aug 2017 5:13pm ()

    Yes, well said Justin. More eloquent than I was!

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 16 Aug 2017 9:49am ()

    Every year CORE Education publishes a set of Ten Trends about digital technologies that are influencing aspects of education and every year there's new language in there for me to learn - this year it's Blockchain...You can download the PDF file to share.

    CORE's Ten Trends

    Could be something worth sharing with your students too Warren, and definitely teachers?

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 16 Aug 2017 9:43am ()

    Beautifully said Justin! smiley

  • justin hickey (View all users posts) 15 Aug 2017 10:07pm ()

    Great thread and very timely. I agree with David that coding is seen as some kind of definitive pathway to future success for our students. Too often the point is missed when it comes to new technologies. It is not about the technology as much as it is about the ability to use it in ways that can create and produce innovation. And that comes from the ability to think critically and creatively, to problem solve and debug. These are the skills that we need to be helping our students to learn in our classrooms around New Zealand. Coding is just one way of many, that help our students to develop these skills. And as we integrate the new DTC, we will hopefully see many more ways to enrich our students learning experiences and help them to develop core skills that will enable them to access positive and successful opportunities for their futures.


  • Warren Grieve (View all users posts) 15 Aug 2017 9:53pm ()

    I threw out to a Year 8 class I was in a challenge about the jobs they are thinking of in the future. Next step is to use a couple of sites for them to look through and reflect on in their blogs.

  • justin hickey (View all users posts) 15 Aug 2017 9:49pm ()

    I totally agree Warren. I have been explaining this to colleagues; that most of us are already doing a lot of DT and computational thinking already. Part of it is also recognising that we can frame a lot of what we do with a computer science lens by introducing different language around it. I think this helps people to see it less as something extra to do but rather as something that can be integrated more easily.

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

Exploring leadership for change, vision, policy and strategy that integrates ICTs into learning.