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Employment, Education and Entertainment – three interesting topics that are starting to overlap. Is this good? It depends…

The internet and education

The internet started out as a DARPA project that was devised for academics and scientists to communication more-or-less instantly and share information globally. That’s educational.

The future of education

We didn’t talk about “blended learning”. This is likely to be the optimum form of education. Some online learning personalized to challenge the learner – computers are really good at providing and monitoring this. Some in-person face-to-face teaching and facilitation which a teacher does well. Some collaboration and challenging project work as this is how most people learn best and it is how people work in the world beyond school.

Twitter is a great resource for educators and parents. It is surprising how much education technology information is shared by K-12 teachers via Twitter. Some of the tweets link to really good blog posts and podcast interviews.

There are already lots of online certifications, badges, professional evaluations that are considered for employment. Although these haven’t replaced formal education, there is certainly a trend toward accepting alternative forms of proving prior learning.

Edutainment covers a broad range of technology based learning, ranging from letters/numbers keep-the-kids-entertained eye-candy to some serious challenging learning opportunities that require critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration – serious fun.

Paper textbooks are being phased out almost everywhere.

3D printing and Augmented Reality (AR) are two of the hot new classroom technologies. “Everyone” is doing it, or at least that is what all the media hype would have you believe. We will look at these in the Future topic.

Preparing for Employment

A college degree never has been a guarantee for a good high paying job. Being an enthusiastic lifelong learner with good work habits and technical skills appropriate to the entry level jobs in your field of interest are essential to being considered for employment. Experience from jobs or internships helps too. Start looking for the qualifications for the jobs that interest you. You don’t necessarily have to have all the skills and experience to apply but this will give you some guidelines to prepare to get that job you want.

Movies

People thought that first radio, then television, then videos and now internet streaming would be the end of movie theaters.

Grand Challenges projects

For the Grand Challenge project coming up next, you can follow up on an area of personal interest. The 14 categories are guidelines. If you have a special interest in one of the topics – Engineer better medicines or Reverse-engineer the brain, for example, that is great. Work on that.

If you have an area of interest that doesn’t quite fit one of the categories, it is ok to interpret the categories more generally. For example if you are concerned about computer training for homeless job seekers without technology skills, researching the problem and finding solutions would fit into urban infrastructure and/or personalized learning. Most of these people live in cities and need personalized training for the jobs they are seeking.

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