In June I gave a graduation speech that briefly outlined some of the changes that are happening, related to the 4th Industrial Revolution, that our students may experience as they travel through their lives.
In the speech I wrote:
I believe it is a time that is destined to make your future lives dramatically different because of the accelerated integration of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, The Internet of Things, Robotics, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, and even Quantum Computing. As these new innovations work in unison to make our lives easier, our homes smarter, our currency digital, our cars driverless, and our data more accessible I urge you to remember that these technologies can also widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots.
I wonder how often educators think of these modern contexts and the ways that we can prepare our students to live within them? This morning, I read a fascinating report, “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Learning, Teaching and Education” that I would guess most educators would never read. According to the author, ” Many current learning practices address the needs of an industrial society that is currently being transformed”. (Tuomi, p. 29) Are schools and school personnel having conversations about this transformation? Who would start the conversation and how would the results be synthesized into current learning opportunities? Who will be the first to integrate AI fully into their classroom? School? Can AI negate the need for a classroom? a school?
As I explore these technical contexts, I wonder what other contexts should be included in my thinking. Surely there are rapidly changing social-emotional contexts. Today, our students come to us with a plethora of issues that fall within the social emotional spectrum while also often interfering with school.
According to the casel.org website,
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
Teachers, students, parents and administrators need to commit to working within these social contexts to help students to navigate the sometimes seemingly impossible, so they can function at acceptable levels while at school.
At our school, we have integrated our guidance team within our wellness classes. A guidance counselor and a wellness teacher work together to help students to navigate current social emotional issues as they relate to the lives, including ways learning can be impacted.
I’m sure I am missing some of the modern contexts as they apply to learning. Please feel free to let me know what your thoughts are and if you think I missed anything, zip me an email.