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Technology unemployment and a wireless labour market

smarttiger2eLearningworld Weekly ReviewTeknologisk arbetslöshet och en trådlös arbetsmarknad

School books are rarely a matter for street protests. But at the moment the streets of Seoul are filled with protesters against the government plan to introduce one single history textbook for school education. One minister of the government said to BBC that school books should teach “the proud history of South Korea, which has achieved both democratisation and industrialisation in the shortest time in world history”. The opposite view to this one-way-street has Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan that during the week announced that they will give away most parts of their Facebook shares to charity with the initial focus of “personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.” As we will see below when it comes to education Zuckerberg is giving the key to the future while the Korean government tries to lock in its people in their story of a glorious past.

Personalized Learning

The term includes adaptive edtech to tailor lessons and assignments to individual students. In order to adapt education to the student’s personal learning style with focus on the strengths and weaknesses. This thereby will give the possibility to refine individual talent and at the right level train the weak spots. In a speech to the Trade Union Congress in London, Andy Haldane that is Chief Economist at the Bank of England, talked about the profound technological transformation that the world is going through today in a historical perspective, his words below gives wings to the future.

Technological unemployment21stschool2

15 million jobs in the UK could be at risk during the coming decades because of the intense technological development, according to the Bank of England’s calculations. Robots and other forms of tech-services will be taking over especially many low-skills and low-wage-jobs. In this sense it fair to talk about a significant risk of an upcoming technological unemployment problem. However, even though that the idea that technological development puts people out of work and bears down on wages have been rhetorically used for centuries evidence shows in a general sweep of history that technological progress has not decreased the amount of jobs and rather boosted wages. On the contrary each phase has eventually resulted in a “growing tree of rising skills, wages and productivity”. The key is to master the new technology, to acquire the skills and knowledge in order to actually benefit from it. As the society transform accordingly to the technology improvements a new labour market is appearing where some of the answers to success may be found in new patterns of company ownership and new educational systems.

Mobility, lifelong learning and personalization

Darrel M. West writes in the Brookings Institution report that eLearningworld reported about earlier this week: “With the world moving towards robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, countries need to update their curricula in order to train students with new skills.” Individual talent refinement and up to date knowledge and skills is some of the cornerstones of an educational environment that is adapted to the digital age. This makes mobile devices very essential for learning, which also improves the prospects of personalization of education. Darrel M. West writes: “One of the virtues of mobile devices is that they make it possible to customize educational content for individual students. In most nations, teachers deal with classrooms of very diverse students. Pupils come from different backgrounds, have divergent interests, and learn in unique ways.”

In conclusion it is real time knowledge and skills that is distributed with adaptive edtech that form the bridge (often a mobile device) to successful learning and to be attractive on the labour market.

Written by
LarsGoran Bostrom©


Why South Korea is rewriting its history books

Why Mark Zuckerberg Wants to Spend on Personalized Learning

Labour’s Share – speech by Andy Haldane

Brookings Research: Connected learning: How mobile technology can improve education 

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