What does the future look like? With the COVID-19 pandemic having changed how organisations work and an increasing number making a permanent shift to work-from-home environments, now is the time to start considering how to prepare children for a work-from-home future.
Children of the future will also need to be more determined and resourceful than previous generations. With the current trends, it can be said that work will almost certainly be more freelance- and entrepreneurial-based, with people having two or three jobs instead of just one. This means, however, that kids will need to know how to run their own businesses and how to assess risk and reward. Networking will become even more of a focus for success, especially if more people work-from-home. There is a set of skills that experts say all kids will need to succeed, no matter what field they go into. “Almost every employer, in every occupation, prefers workers who know how to problem-solve, be creative, work collaboratively, and communicate well,” says Steven Paine, Ed.D., president of the educational advocacy group Partnership for 21st Century Skills.[i]
So, how does a parent ensure their children become creative, resilient, and collaborative? Parents need to think about how their kids are being taught and whether schools are preparing their children for the future. Modern schooling institutions haven’t changed much since the Industrial Revolution, when the future most children were being prepared for, was becoming a labourer working on an assembly line.
One approach for preparing children for the future world of work, is e-learning, or remote learning. Remote learning not only assists children to understand the educational technology available, but when used correctly can also help prepare them for life after school, at university and in the working world. Although children tend to be exposed to technology and screens regularly and appear to be more tech-savvy than older generations, this does not necessarily mean that they can troubleshoot any technical problems they may have. Troubleshooting is a valuable life skill, especially in a world that is currently operating in a work-from-home environment indefinitely.
Having a good understanding of meeting software, like Zoom and Teams is also useful. Exposure to the platforms will help children to develop a thorough understanding of them, so when they encounter them in the working world, they won’t be phased.
Additionally, testing for schools, university and work recruitment is increasingly online or done via e-learning, therefore those who are more used to researching and composing work online will arguably perform better than someone who is not used to an online interface or e-learning experience.
As well as teaching technology skills for the future, remote learning also helps to promote certain life skills, especially for older children who are set more individual rather than group work. When remote learning is delivered in an efficient way and received in a secure and stable environment, children stand to learn multi-tasking, time management, independent learning skills, and responsibility, all of which are crucial to later life success.