Silicon Valley economist Eilif Trondensen on Technology
Eilif Trondensen has been working for Silicon Vikings Company for several years to unite Baltic and Scandinavian region initiatives with the Silicon Valley market. The economist agreed to tell how future education will look. When technology evolves faster than people are able to adapt to them, education, which today is at risk to create once people just beyond the current world, must also change accordingly.
You have said that rapidly changing technologies will change the learning process. This has already been talked about for a long time, technology is developing, the world is changing, so maybe we can generalize what kind of changes we really are talking about? What’s going on?
The point of view
It all depends on the point of view. Although less and less, there are those who say that nothing has really happened, that the nature of man has not changed since the world in which we live has changed greatly and technologically. In my opinion, it is important to realize that technological change is real, fundamental and they touch on all five main types of education: pre-school and kindergartens, educational institutions and their course visitors directly accessing consumers, as well as pupils in ordinary schools, higher education institutions and their students and enterprises or public sector. At each stage of the system, changes are already taking place and will inevitably move further.
So what are the challenges to the education system caused by technological changes?
The main challenge is the proper use of technology. They are not self esteem, they are not a panacea, and only the result and the way they are applied are actually the result. It is therefore necessary that all necessary chains be involved in the change. Only in this case, technology will provide the opportunity to receive a much larger number of education, will reduce the costs of the education system, help to involve students in the learning process itself, and, most importantly, will facilitate the life of the teachers, while effectively exploiting their time.
Moreover, the culture of education and learning must change itself, and innovations and experiments should become more welcome in schools. Understanding how this will make our culture more difficult, because the speed of change depends on individual countries and even on individual schools. After all, if you decide to allow technology, sometimes the word of a director or even a single teacher can be decisive. Inevitably, the question is how to combine technology and human resources. There are already such technology-oriented players who are willing to eliminate teachers altogether.
But would not it be a better solution to rethink and change the role of a teacher, to create a system in which the technique would help to better use the teacher’s time, but his figures would not be eliminated?
The changes in the learning process
Maybe it is possible to identify what hinders the changes in the learning process. If technology is changing and developing so rapidly, why do they get tired of it? There are some of the most important things, perhaps paradoxically, that this is most related to psychology and human factor. First of all, it is the fear of the teachers and school administrators themselves to allow the technology to be introduced. Often, it relates to age as younger generation teachers are simply more technologically advanced, and they use it so that their integration into the learning process seems natural to them.
Although it is not necessarily the cornerstone of the age – sometimes innovation and technology are abandoned only because they are difficult to understand, there is a lack of time in deepening or simply breaking the established educational routine. Another thing is the fact that the transition to a new educational culture will not succeed without other countries or schools practice tracking and taking over.
Fear of risk
The modern teacher really needs to be very open not only to his immediate environment, but also to be ready, even from the examples of other countries, to take everything that is best and not be afraid to change his methodology in accordance with the recommendations of good practice. Unfortunately, such a desire to adapt to the brightness is far from everywhere. Another big challenge is the culturally rooted fear of risk. Any innovation requires experiments, and it is impossible to avoid them. That’s perfectly normal. It is more important to realize that it is imperative not to make absolutely right decisions for the first time, but to be able to learn from their mistakes elementarily.
In some countries, governments do not have enough time to perceive the importance of technology development for modern education, as this is a complex issue, which is also a demanding and radical change for many life spheres. In this situation, Norway could be an example. Prime Minister Erna Solberg recently acknowledged that innovation is slowly reacting, especially as the number of jobs created by traditional oil and gas industries in the country is shrinking sharply, and the country’s face is changing significantly. The conclusion was simple: in the future, technological innovation projects need not only more intensive support, but also faster implementation, as this is the only way for a country to remain competitive. To hear such things from the lips of the leaders of the country is not so common.
— UKDK (@UKDK2) October 19, 2017
How can the educational system adapt to the technologies that are constantly undergoing such a change that miraculous inventions have been laughing at times for some years now?
One of the big problems in integrating technology into the educational system is a must in conjunction with the extraordinary speed of technological change in the entire society. So, be able to prepare students for the work that will be needed in the future, and now we can not even imagine it. But this digital transformation touches upon all layers of society and industries without exception. Technology change is a tsunami that can not be avoided and therefore needs to be prepared accordingly.
Does technology, based on all the training processes, does not endanger the practical experience of a pupil or student when the work market is already obsolete?
Again, we must accept the fact that today the formal the knowledge provided by the education is limited and useful considerably less than a decade or even five years ago. What does not lose value is not specific knowledge, but competences – the ability to learn, to find, to systematize and to process information, to think creatively and critically. We have no other way to embody the idea of lifelong learning. And I am talking not only about formal education.
Educational institutions and online courses
It is not easy, but people themselves must take responsibility to continuously improve their skills necessary for the labor market and even more widely – necessary to live a full-fledged life in a technologically more complex world. Such market needs are met not only in formal education institutions, but also online courses available for a small price are available from anywhere in the world just like new slot sites. In the future, learning will become a matter for the audience, but not for lecture rooms, but for phones and tablets, which will last forever.
Is there a risk that in the future, the technology will not complement, but replace human work, in the assessment of the speed of progress?
Such a question quite often comes from the feeling of fear and insecurity. We feared that the world would change unrecognizably. However, the optimistic vision is that people, especially adults, who grow in robots, artificial intelligence and similar technologies, will be able to develop our critical thinking, communication skills to the best of our ability to complement and work with them with the benefits of new technologies, and Do not try to cling to the tasks that new inventions perform better than any person.