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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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  • 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.

  • 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.


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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

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