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Saturday, September 02, 2017

Technology Moves to the Head of the 21st Century Classroom | MIT Technology Review

"Tomorrow’s jobs will demand collaborative workers steeped in hands-on problem solving. To that end, digital learning is leveling the playing field for far-flung disadvantaged students who previously would have had no chance to be part of this new workforce, as well as boosting the skills of students and workers closer to home" by MIT Technology Review Custom.

Photo: Amino Labs
Cloud, virtualization, and software-defined networking—along with consumer electronic devices—are among the many advanced technologies enabling this development. Residents of Diepsloot, a township in Johannesburg, South Africa, live in poverty —many in shacks without electricity and running water. Yet every morning, a select group of students hustles off to the non-profit LEAP  Science and Maths  School to soak up a rigorous curriculum of science, math, English, and 21st century digital skills courtesy of a high-tech collaboration to empower mobile classrooms.

In partnership with the VMware Foundation’s Good Gigs Service Learning program  , the LEAP (Language Enrichment Arts Program ) school built out a robust IT backbone and mobile computing lab while enabling a new curriculum based on digital learning and immersive content. Students who once lacked access to modern-day digital tools are now fully exploiting the Internet, interactive apps, online courses, and computing technology as part of their daily lessons, opening doors to new opportunities and a promising future.

The potent combination of globalization and digital transformation is upending the requirements for tomorrow’s workforce, underscoring the need for programs like the VMware-powered curriculum at the LEAP school. Such digital learning initiatives shift emphasis away from rote book- and lecture-style teaching to interactive experiences focused on collaboration, personalized content, and hands-on problem solving. The ability to leverage core IT infrastructure such as virtualized servers, networking, and storage, in concert with mobile technology, enables students in remote communities from Diepsloot to rural America to participate in digital learning experiences to which they previously had no access.

“It’s really about creating opportunities for students and teachers,” says Jessamine Chin, director of the VMware Foundation, who participated in the Good Gigs Trek with LEAP Science and Maths School. “We see that digital learning is really changing the way classrooms operate. Technology gives students and teachers [in less developed areas] access to the same kinds of opportunities that people in more urban settings tend to have access to.”

New learning prototypes are critical as the accelerated pace of change disrupts traditional business models and creates new 21st century jobs that demand different skill sets. According to a World Economic report, 35 percent of core workplace skills will change between 2015 and 2020, with complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration in high demand. At the same time, the report found that 65 percent of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t currently exist, underscoring the need for new skills training using hands-on and exploratory learning techniques. 
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Source: MIT Technology Review