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Recently, on a test speedway in Indiana, history was made. The Catalyst E2 Max electric bus went 1,102.2 miles on a single charge. The previous electric car record was set by a tiny, single-passenger electric vehicle traveling 28 miles per hour. You and I could actually fit in an electric bus. This means we’re one step closer to seeing electric buses on city streets – a major step forward for electric vehicle technology.
Other leading car manufacturers like Ford, Chevy, and others are also set to increase electric vehicle production in coming years. Ford announced that its first all-electric vehicle will have over 300 miles of range. The recently launched Chevy Bolt boasts over 200 miles of all-electric range.
As electric vehicles become more affordable, charge faster, and go farther, we’re all going to see a dramatic change in our transportation infrastructure. But right now, how these changes will look – and what specific technologies will drive them – aren’t 100% clear. We’re not entirely sure what that means for the skills our children need when they begin their careers someday.
How can we prepare our children to learn critical skills for the future if technology changes so quickly?
The Best Skills to Adapting to a Technologically Changing World
We’re not going to pretend our children are going to code in the same languages we use today – sorry, Python and Ruby. But the purpose of teaching coding isn’t just to learn a specific language.
As parents and educators, we’re always looking to the future to know how to prepare our children. We want to give them as much of a head start as possible.
With that in mind, we’re always asking the question, “What skills should our children learn today to set them up for success in the future?”
A study published by the World Economic Forum has some answers. The top skills needed by the next wave of workers include complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity.
Notice how none of these are specific technologies or skills. It’s the ability to learn that will prepare our children for the future.
Steps Educators Can Take Today to Prepare Our Students for Tomorrow
With this information, it’s clear we need to instill a love of learning and discovery in the children we teach. Yet this is easier said than done. The day-to-day work that happens in a classroom often doesn’t leave much time for exploration and discovery. This is especially true in states where classroom standards take a lot of time.
Fortunately, our work speaking with hundreds of educators across the world has given us some insight into creating learning environments where curiosity, exploration, and self-driven learning are rewarded.
What have we found? Educators who experiment find the greatest success. Sometimes it feels scary to step outside of the lessons plans we’ve used for years to try something new. But if we want our students to be lifelong learners and adapt to a changing world, then we have to try new things, too.
If that seems intimidating, the good news is you’re not alone. We’ve already shared some ideas that can help our students become better learners:
- We can learn how to engage students in science class.
- We can explore ways to add skills like coding into our curriculum, even if we haven’t coded before.
- We can choose experiments (like Brush Bot) that give students hands-on experience with real-world technologies and inspire their imaginations.
No matter what we do, our role as educators is to experiment along with our students. What works? What doesn’t? And what inspires our students to seek learning on their own?
We don’t know what technologies our children’s generation will need, but we do know what skills they’ll need. Our children will need to know how to solve complex problems, think critically, and be creative. Through experimenting ourselves, we can succeed as educators in providing these critical skills.
Want inspiration for how you can bring learning discovery into your classroom? Check out our recently redesigned Lessons where you’ll find activities by grade level, subject, and age. Plus, when you subscribe, you’ll get a free Sensor Kit worth $150 and access to over 100 lessons!
By Ben Neiswender, Director of Learning, Ardusat
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