-FUTURE-PROOF YOUR KIDS-

HOW TO ROBOT-PROOF YOUR KIDS

As a parent, your main job is to protect your child and prepare them for the future. You’re probably concerned about what kind of world you will leave him or her, and what kind of future jobs they will have. You may even begin to look for signs of interest by what they want to play with or watch, to determine what activities elicit signs of burgeoning passion so you can encourage them. Above all, you want them to be happy and live a fulfilling life.

Multi-tasking? Listen to this article on the go

by Unreplaceables.com

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE EXPERTS ARE WRONG?  

When it comes to education, we sometimes have a tendency to step back and leave it to the “experts”. Depending on our own education level and experiences with school, we may even feel a little intimidated about voicing concerns or making demands.

But, what happens when the so-called experts are wrong or the system is failing? You have a duty as a parent to step in and demand better. When that isn’t possible, you have to find new ways to take up the slack.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to do whatever you can to ensure that your child has the best chance to succeed in a future that’s likely to be dominated by profound change and uncertaintity.

“What is the future of the workplace?”

WHAT SKILLS WILL WE NEED IN THE FUTURE  

The workplace of the future will be highly automated and dependent on artificial intelligence technologies like big data and machine learning. That means there will be fewer human employees needed to make sure all processes are running smoothly.

However, that doesn’t mean people will become irrelevant and useless. It’s just that their usefulness will shift to other areas than production and service.

The occupational skills that will allow our future generations to remain marketable and competitive have been studied and written about widely.

Experts may not agree entirely about what the world of tomorrow will look like or how it will function, but there are some things that are universally acknowledged by all. Our children will need to know how to merge technological prowess with finely tuned people skills in a seamless, intuitive manner.

WHAT ARE THE PREDICTORS OF SUCCESS?  

The world of the mid-21st century will be more globalized and diverse. This means developing solid social skills will be essential, and there’s solid research to back this up. Pennsylvania State and Duke Universities conducted a joint study that followed 700 children from kindergarten to age 25.

There was a direct correlation between those with highly developed social skills and success later in life. The kindergartners who displayed a high degree of emotional intelligence were most likely to show empathy and compassion without being urged to do so, and they were more likely to be in college or employed 20 years later.

Our conceptions of work environments and the meaning of success will become invalid, almost quaint in 20 years. Most of the careers that we train for today may either disappear, be taken over by automation, or function on a drastically changed set of skills and abilities.

This will be equally true for many white collar professions and almost every entry-level or production job currently in existence, provided any survive.

“The skills she’ll need are creative problem solving and critical thinking

CAREERS FOR LIFE NO LONGER EXIST   

Employees of the future may have to transition between jobs or work multiple occupations over their lifetimes. Rather than training for one career, future job preparation should concentrate on diversifying skills and abilities that can translate to any work environment.

The majority of occupational knowledge in all but highly specialized fields is absorbed through performing and observing.

That means adaptability and soft skills like cooperation, creative problem solving, and critical thinking abilities will get you further in the future than formal training.

A SOCIETY OF ENTREPRENEURS   

Our kids will have to learn to stand out using individuality and innovation. No longer having to work dead-end, low-skilled jobs will provide the time and incentive to develop these skills.

Lack of such jobs will make it imperative that we start getting them ready now.

This reality will also result in a rise in entrepreneurship and self-employment, with the current much-discussed gig-economy becoming the norm rather than a source of supplementary or gap employment.

Automated systems won’t be the curiosity or convenience they are today. They will be as routine and taken for granted as flipping on a light switch or turning on a tap is now. Technical proficiency will need to become as rudimentary and core as learning to read and write.

“Our kids will have to learn to stand out using individuality and innovation. No longer having to work dead-end, low-skilled jobs will provide the time and incentive to develop these skills.”

ARE SCHOOLS CORRECTLY PREPARING OUR CHILDREN    

Researchers, inhabitants of think tanks, and policy-makers spend a lot of time, money, and effort trying to see into the future. Unfortunately, by the time their findings trickle down into public policy and education, the future they predicted is already at the door.

When studies showed that American kids were falling behind other developed countries in certain subjects, there came a push toward developing programs and curricula that were concentrated around math and science.

The results were mixed, as they always are when the powers that be can’t get together to decide what to implement or how it should be done.

Rather than re-vamping public education altogether, they decided to cut large chunks of it and force-feed enough information to bolster test scores.

It’s hard to break old habits when public primary education was engineered by design nearly a century ago on a model of mass production. Schools that didn’t make the cut faced losing accreditation and funding.

“Leaving no child behind”

INEQUALITY IN EDUCATION    

Some upscale communities had progressive school administrators, a more lucrative tax base, and enough engaged parents with high disposable income to equip their neighborhood schools with the latest tech and innovative education ideals.

Then, someone noticed that the most vulnerable communities were in danger of being left behind, and that was something the government under George Bush decided should happen to No Child. It was even mandated via an act of Congress back in 2001.

GOOD INTENTIONS   

In 2011, under directives from the Obama administration, the realization that all but the most privileged children were at-risk led the government to release additional funding for teacher training, grants, and STEM-based program development.

Private entities, in conjunction with the government, helped fund the creation of charter and magnet schools that were also modeled on a STEM framework.

The intentions were good, but two problems surfaced. One was an issue of access. The locations of the schools and space availability still meant that only the most motivated families were able to gain much advantage.

There were also cases of children not having access to the same technology at home for completing projects, enrichment study, and something as simple as doing their homework. The second problem was one of effectiveness.

“The locations of the schools and space availability still meant that only the most motivated families were able to gain much advantage.”

LOOKING AT THE DATA

The group, Educational Leadership, conducted a study in 2014/2015 of select STEM-oriented schools and programs across the US. Their findings unearthed the fact that there was no appreciable difference in math and science scores between STEM and non-STEM schools in Florida and North Carolina.

They also audited 30 STEM high schools in New York City. This investigation found that, although scores were better than those in high schools with a more traditional curriculum, the kids doing better were likely to do well in school regardless.

This was based on an examination of their previous academic performance and test scores. These findings were also replicated in STEM schools in Arizona and other states.

“There are still dinosaurs in the system “

BROADENING THE CREATIVE SPECTRUM  

Viewing the trends for education in 2018 isn’t very heartening. There’s only one way that promoting a process-based, creative learning environment will work for the vast majority of students who will need it to improve employability.

It needs to become the primary learning environment in all public and private schools. That will require a cultural shift in thinking and a system-wide overhaul. It will also take time, which is something our kids are running out of.

HOW CAN PARENTS FILL THE GAPS SCHOOLS ARE LEAVING  

You are your child’s first and most influential teacher. None of us comes with a built-in knowledge of how to raise kids. But, it’s a safe bet that you know your own child better than anyone. When education fails kids, it’s up to parents to prepare them for an uncertain future that’s dependent on automation to run smoothly.

You don’t have to do anything as drastic as pulling your child out of school and homeschooling. Most parents are working too many hours just to get by to make that viable or realistic. Most education is achieved through natural, passive learning that starts in infancy and hopefully continues throughout our lives.

“Train their creativity”

BROADENING THE CREATIVE SPECTRUM  

There are two things that show a demonstrable difference in helping children learn faster and retain information longer, art and music. If you think back to your own childhood, I bet you can recall learning the Alphabet Song for the first time.

Those of us who were children of the 70s can probably still sing all of the ditties from School House Rock, and the animations will run through our minds while we do it.

Ironically, art and music are two subject areas that are sidelined in most public schools, especially on an elementary level. These are also two of the easiest learning aids to work with at home.

WHAT ARE THE PRACTICAL ACTIONS TO TAKE? 

1). Giving your child crayons or colored pencils, some blank paper (try to avoid coloring books), and a short directive can unleash their creativity. Ask them to draw their idea of the perfect day or what kind of job they want when they grow up. Discuss the work when they’re finished.

2). Invent a problem and direct them to improvise or write a short skit with a sibling or friend about how to solve it.

3). Go for a walk, encourage your kids to ask questions, and take the time to answer them. If you don’t know the answer, say so and find it together.

4). Have your child write down things that make them feel angry or frustrated. Ask them to invent something to solve some of those problems. They can try to build it out of Legos or draw plans for it and explain how it would work.

“If you don’t have the budget for a tablet or home computer, most local libraries have public computer labs and free wifi availability.”

Technology and high-tech learning toys can be expensive for many of us. If you don’t have the budget for a tablet or home computer, most local libraries have public computer labs and free wifi availability. They’re also an overlooked source for fun educational programs for kids of all ages and free media that you can borrow.

Many countries have cities and many smaller municipalities have local museums, free events in parks, and kid-centered activities to help visitors learn more about their local community, details behind a new exhibit, and subjects like history or science.

These are all simple suggestions that cost only time. You may even rediscover your own creativity and love of learning in the process.

THE RACE AGAINST THE ROBOTS STARTS AT HOME  

Being a parent is hard. There may be circumstances in your own life that make it even harder. But one universal wish of nearly every parent on the planet is for their child to have a better life and an easier future than whatever is happening in their own current reality.

Kids are more adaptive and resilient than we realize. In fact, they’re probably better at pivoting and rebounding than we are. They also take their cues about how to view the world and respond to situations by watching us.

If we’re fearful of technology or meet it with resentment, they may learn to avoid it also. You can’t count on the world to wait for your child to catch up.

By building a strong foundation for learning from infancy, encouraging curiosity and creativity, and making a commitment to remain involved and engaged in your child’s formal and informal education, you’ll be providing them with the skills and advantages they’ll need to face the future with confidence.

You will be preparing your child for the future and, as a parent, that is the most you can wish to do.
 

HOW CAN YOU PREPARE?

So is the situation hopeless? Are robots and artificial intelligence destined to replace our jobs and those of our children? While that may be the case for many, it doesn't need to be for you. Join the Unreplaceables and together we will make your family futureproof. 

JOIN THE UNREPLACEABLES FOR FREE!

HOW CAN YOU PREPARE?

So is the situation hopeless? Are robots and artificial intelligence destined to replace our jobs and those of our children? While that may be the case for many, it doesn't need to be for you. Join the Unreplaceables and together we will make your family futureproof. 

JOIN THE UREPLACEABLES FOR FREE!

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