Industry 4.0 in Education


Whether we choose to embrace this new global industrial revolution or pretend it isn't really happening, cyber physical systems are here. Over the course of history, people, economy, inventions, supply and demand have caused the perpetual evolution of society. The 3rd industrial revolution, aka the "technology revolution" was BIG. From computers to robots and hand held devices, we became more connected than ever. Social media exploded and new marketing platforms were born. This enabled faster, smarter, higher leveraging outcomes in business and trends across the globe.

The face of education evolved to include technology tools and devices. Chalkboards were replaced with whiteboards that were replaced with smart boards that were replaced with tablets. But the universal practice of writing and responding or interacting didn't necessarily move the level of thinking forward, it was just another tool. The fourth global industrial revolution now provides, cyber-physical systems of automation, internet of things and big data, cloud computing, systemic transformations on civil society, and the need for new governance structures. We are experiencing the evolution of human identity, and it's direct impact on the global economy and manufacturing. So what does this mean for education?

We have reached a tipping point where education is going to experience radical reform whether we are ready for it or not. Automation, sensory processing, and big data have converged with a perfect storm to possess the capacity of learning and teaching that can far surpass the ability of a teacher to differentiate. It is a simple mathematical calculation that there isn't enough time in a day to meet the needs of every child through individualized instruction. The knowledge and skills a teacher must possess in 10 years will not be the same as it is now. Likewise, the "classroom" experience and standards needed to be successful in a global world will not remain. We will be left behind in the digital dust if we do not fully embrace the mindset needed to keep trending.

Think tanks are exploding, industry is talking, but what are educators really doing about it? Are we willing to reinvest in our own learning, to adapt and adjust to the new demands of the world? How will be ensure that our students are ready to embrace the velocity, scope and systems impact that Industry 4.0 will have on our kids? Internet of things is disrupting every industry globally at an exponential rate rather than a the linear rate of the past. This is different. This is global. Our world will never be the same. We will be required to ask new questions, predict outcomes and work heuristically if we want to succeed. How can we bring leverage time, talent, resources and relationships to equip this generation for future generations? They deserve it!

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