Opinion

Don’t Be Afraid of Technology – Embrace Your Inner Robot

Gone are the days of tensing up at the annoying dial-up tune – it’s 2015! I’m Jeremy Powers and I hope that this post will make you those of you longing for the “good old days” less nostalgic and more willing to embrace technological advancements in all areas of life, especially in secondary and higher education.

Those of you who are raising children have probably had a few concerns about how high a place technology holds in your offspring’s daily life. Perhaps you’ve even raised eyebrows at the parent-teacher conferences when someone spoke about new technological innovations to be introduced at the school. I can understand your concerns. The media seems to be quite anti-tech in recent years (despite its own heavy reliance on digital technology) and what it tells you can easily seem like a cause for concern. However, I’m here to tell you that there’s little you should be worried about.

One thing that can be causing your concern is how intimidating you believe technology to be. It’s possible that you’ve experienced some technological glitches at the workplace and don’t see much point in technological advancements since it appears to do more harm than good in your daily life. However, there is little need to feel intimidated. In fact, the glitches are almost certainly going to be a thing of the past within the next few years. More and more tech entrepreneurs are appearing on the market with various innovations that can, and probably will, change the business world as we know it quite soon. So I do believe that it’s important for each member of the younger generation to be able to function in that world, and for that, they need to know how technology works and how to make it work for them.

Learning with the Help of Technology

Incorporating technology into the learning process is going to help, not hinder the way children learn. The technology currently available on the market to educational establishments allows pupils to develop, for example, their writing skills, public speaking skills and communication skills. Take a multimedia presentation of a project for instance. A student is supposed to write engaging content for the presentation that included the key information about the project, present it in front of an audience, and, in addition, make sure that the audience got the message. The latter skill is very important in the commercial world today – communicating a message to the intended audience can help foster long-lasting business relationships, and a classroom is an excellent way to start learning the best ways to do just that.

Another thing you could be worried about is coding replacing reading and writing as the basic life skills. While it is a very important skill to have, and it would open many doors in the course of your child’s career, it doesn’t mean much on its own. People aren’t robots. The title of this post refers to the inner robot we all have that drives us towards being better at things. Technology can easily help your child get there and coding is a big part of it, albeit not the only significant part. Technology isn’t here to replace human learning – it’s here to enhance the learning process and to help keep the child engaged. Various language learning games, for instance, can help foster an interest in languages from the youngest age.

Many UK companies today are encountering problems when headhunting for tech-savvy people. That’s not surprising – there were only a few thousand computer science graduates this year, and about a half of that pool was made up of international students who are having trouble finding a job due to tough immigration policies in the country. I’m not here to debate politics, so I’ll just say this – technology is moving forward and it needs people to move forward too. The younger generation that’s currently attending secondary schools and universities is the answer. So are you really going to take away opportunities to succeed from your child?

“Of course not!” you’re probably exclaiming in indignation. But you could also be asking yourself – what if everyone has the same skill set as your child? If coding is going to be such a sought-after skill, what’s to stop everyone from learning it and how can your child stand out then? The answer is – there is a lot more to technology than coding. It is very important, but there are many other lesser-known things your child can learn and use that knowledge to improve their career prospects. For example, artificial intelligence is on the rise at present, and it certainly seems like the skill is going to be very much in demand in a couple of years. There’s also programming – your child can choose from several languages such as Python or Ruby. Programmers earn quite a bit of money today and it’s unlikely that their salaries are going to drop within the next decade.

Overall, I hope that this post has somewhat lessened your fear of technology and you now understand what it means to the younger generation a little more. The main thing is not to be intimidated by it, but to embrace the innovations and adapt as well as you can.

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