Despite an ever-changing work environment, one thing remains the same: digital technology is the present and our future. But what does that have to do with our students’ future? Our students are future engineers, scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs. By giving kids the opportunity to play, learn and be curious in the classroom, we spark creativity for them to form aspirations from the start of their education and hopefully drive that desire into a career. Students are more likely to reinvent technology to better our society or create new ways to save the planet, but only if we supply them with the means to be imaginative and innovate. While it’s definitely easier said than done, the best place to start is in the classroom. By giving all students access to technology and a robust learning experience, we give them a step up for their future in a technology-driven workforce and world.
Edweek.org conducted a study of 700 teachers which revealed that “less than one-third believe ed-tech innovations have changed their beliefs about what school should look like.” To change that dynamic, some school and district leaders are turning to innovation lessons from the business world, which tends to be more open to risk-taking. Education companies are also trying to do a better job solving problems for schools, and teachers are showing how experimentation with digital tools can improve classroom instruction.”
It’s this sort of approach to teaching that inspired Konica Minolta and All Covered to seek out a partnership with Future Ready Schools™. Future Ready Schools is an initiative of the Alliance for Excellent Education that helps traditional public, charter and private school leaders make sound financial decisions regarding the acquisition of digital tools to transform teaching and learning. Its effective digital learning strategies can help to improve learning outcomes for all students. In this partnership, we will work to ensure school boards and district administrators have access to current, relevant information and effective resources that urge sound decisions, especially relating to strategic planning, leadership, and building a culture of innovation in America’s schools.
More than 20 million students are positively affected by the Future Ready pledge, and we hope to provide schools with the information and insight they need to make sound decisions regarding their technology. Technology is a life skill that is required for nearly every career, and by making learning fun and effective with technology, we hope to give students exactly what they need.
3 Examples of Ed–Tech for Future Careers
Interactive Boards for virtual biology
With interactive touch displays, students can now perform the infamous frog dissection virtually. Not only is this more humane, it is also more cost effective for the lab. Every student can take a turn experimenting with the touch screen creature, and teachers have the opportunity to showcase more than one animal to exhibit multiple skeletal systems without the need to call the morgue. This experience gives students access to the world of biology and organisms, and a real hands-on approach they may have never had before. This could stimulate interest in a career in human or mammal medicine, or maybe microbiology.
AR + VR for Anthropology and History
Transporting students to places they’ve never been and giving them access to cultures totally unlike their own does wonders for empathy and curiosity. Hopefully their curiosity will have them wondering how they can travel for a living! There are an incredible amount of careers in hospitality, and exposing kids to a world of exploration may just be the right ticket to get them interested. Augmented reality is currently being used to map city streets and build blueprints of buildings. Students can learn about a career in architecture while “playing” in their classroom. Additionally, virtual reality glasses can put students at a dig site in Ancient Egypt in front of the pyramids, sparking the anthropological bug in them!
3D Printing for Engineering
A 3D printer and its associated curriculum open up a world of opportunity for students to experiment with building things to scale. Students must understand the concept of building models and components for manufacturing and can start using these machines to do so. Engineering is a great career that benefits from the 3D printer, starting from understanding how machinery works to how digital layouts can be manipulated to get a real product.
Konica Minolta and All Covered are extremely excited to welcome this partnership and all the opportunities it will bring. We hope together we can transform the American classroom into a place where students have a fair chance at using technology to make their futures better.