What are we training students to do? In the last millennium, the structure of education has remained constant: students sit in rows listening to a lecturer as they follow along in a book. This factory model, says futurist, award winning author and digital transformation guru Robert Tercek, will be the demise of the workforce if we don’t reinvent the education system to meet the needs of the 21st century society.

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In a recent presentation (see the 7:30 minute clip above), tasked with giving the audience a vision for the future of education, Tercek succinctly guided listeners through his theories on digital transformation, a brief history of education and a world tour of modern digital labor disruption, from robot hotels in Tokyo to robot bar tenders in Berlin. With an assortment of jobs being automated across industries, Tercek posits that the future of education must extend beyond the textbook and into mobility, accessibility and personalization, creating lifelong learners that keep up with rapidly changing technology.

“Labor is being transformed because we’re using software as a substitute,” revealed Tercek. “After decades and decades of de-skilling work, we’ve made it possible for half the jobs to be replaced by software automation. What kind of world are we preparing students for? It’s certainly not a world of factory-based jobs … but, in fact, that’s how our education system is set up.” Tercek dives further into this question in his award-winning book, “Vaporized” (Life Tree Media, 2015).

“Everything that can be vaporized, will be,” says Tercek, and education is no exception. With an eye on the future, Tercek encourages educators to shift their mindsets to:

  • Shed assumptions about what education is, how it’s presented and how it should be consumed – it can now be delivered any time, any place, on any device, to any student
  • Understand the seven dynamics of the “living network,” the participatory components of learning
  • Cultivate a habit of lifelong learning within students

Watch the full FUTURE OF EDUCATION presentation here

We all have a role in improving education. Contact us to learn how Robert Tercek can strategically guide the institutions in your community into the future.