Teachers Unions have become a huge controversy since Betsy DeVos has become Secretary of Education. There are so many questions being raised about the right way to proceed, to keep America's youth competitive globally. But in the balance is the livelihood of millions of teachers. Today let's take a look at what the future may hold for our public school system.
In the last couple weeks, my son read "The Industries of the Future" by Alec Ross. After seeing his report on the book, I decided to devour it.
The book forecasts how we - educators and parents - can position today's children for future success. This highlights frontier markets such as Africa and India. It challenges people to learn both spoken languages and computer code languages. Most importantly it stresses that in order to have a place in the next phase of the economy we must look at everything in a global context. No longer can we rely on mindless labor jobs. We must have a skill set that is both creative and tech savvy.
The only problem is that it suggests that repetitive jobs will be replaced by robots. This includes tomorrow's teachers. This sounds like a joke, but it's not. Korea is already using robots to replace human teachers, and they're thrilled about it.
Who Are the Educators of Tomorrow?
Our career culture has recently been introduced to the share economy, where individuals "share" their assets like house and car - think AirB&B and Uber - for money.
Well, what else so we have to share? Ideas and information out the wahzoo, of course! Our intellectual property is already being shared in line with other commodities. This a major heads-up to the teaching profession.
Cue ominous tones.
We don't have to look further than YouTube classes. My roommate in college took knitting as an elective and paid thousands of dollars for it. That happened.
You can take a knitting class on Brit.co for $29.99.
So where does this leave teachers? Two possible scenarios. One: fighting for public schools and teacher's unions, because our kids need human interaction, real connections and support. Two: creating curriculum that develops analytical skills and is a hybrid of sciences and humanities.
What are your thoughts?
"The Industries of the Future" pointed out an interesting catch 22. They highlighted that some of the major investors in new technologies are teacher unions, on behalf of future pension funds. But are they investing in technology that will make teacher's obsolete like the auto workers have experienced in the last couple decades?
How can we make sense of this?
The one thing in teacher's favor is our culture that puts value on individuals. While the Japanese are fine with being cared for in their dying days by silicone, life-like robots, Americans are not really on board with this.
Cyber students? We owe our youth a better start than that.
Americans have accepted machines replacing dirty and dangerous jobs, but we cannot sit back and let technology replace an occupation that has been a second home to its citizens. It's just not natural.
We would love to know your thoughts on the future of teaching in America.
Keep it clean and friendly and we all will be heard.
By the way, there are a couple important dates coming up: