The Holy Grail of Future Work

5. October 2016
Photo of Kelli Wells

Kelli Wells

Kelli Wells is Executive Director for Education and Skills at the GE Foundation. 

OCT 5, 2016 Project Syndicate

NEW YORK – Understanding the future of work is difficult, if not impossible. According to the MacArthur Foundation, 65% of today’s schoolchildren will eventually be employed in jobs that don’t exist yet.

As technology, globalization, and many other factors continue to redefine work, one constant will be the need for soft skills, or “skills for life.” Peer-to-peer deliberation, brainstorming, and collaboration are familiar to working professionals today, but we can’t assume that they come naturally, especially to the millions of students without access to proper training and college- and career-planning resources. In fact, a growing global skills gap suggests that many young workers are already falling behind.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy has 5.9 million job openings, while 7.8 million people remain unemployed. In Europe, 5.6 million young people are unemployed, while another two million are neither working nor in school. Read the rest of this entry »


Technology in Classrooms Doesn’t Always Boost Education Results, OECD Says

16. September 2015

Date: 16-09-2015
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Overexposure to computers and the Internet causes educational outcomes to drop, study finds

While student performance improves when technology is used in moderation, overexposure to computers and the Internet causes educational outcomes to drop, according to a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Beefing up technology in the classroom doesn’t always lead to better education for children, according to a new study from an international consortium presented Tuesday.

The report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, tracked educational outcome among students based on their use of technology at home and in the classroom. While student performance improves when they use technology in moderation, the group found, overexposure to computers and the Internet causes educational outcomes to drop. Read the rest of this entry »


Higher Education: Apocalypse Now?

4. July 2015

Date: 04-07-2015
Source: ParisTech Review

Digital technology is revolutionizing higher education with increased globalization, student enrollment and privatization. Digital technology may be more revolutionary than the printing press in that it “not only disrupts the dissemination of knowledge, but also its production,” report the editors of ParisTech Review. “This double effect is precisely what disrupts the economic balance of the sector.” The knowledge base of any industry or profession is available online. Colleges can expect intense competition. The editors anticipate museums, libraries, broadcasters and corporations to also produce MOOCs – massive open online courses. “The emergence of new private actors may tempt governments whose public finances have suffered from the financial crisis, leading them to pull back from the education sector,” notes the article. Libraries could lose to huge centralized databases. Lifelong learning will expand, and analysts anticipate systems to emphasize a combination of teachers with digital resources. – YaleGlobal

Digital technology is rapidly revolutionizing higher education, with new actors increasing globalization, enrollment and privatization Read the rest of this entry »


Technology: Not classy enough

26. March 2015

Date: 26-03-2015

Source: The Economist

Online learning could disrupt higher education, but many universities are resisting it

WHEN MASSIVE OPEN online courses (MOOCs) took off three years ago, there was much concern that they would destroy traditional universities. That isn’t happening. “We’re doing a better job of improving job skills than of transforming the university sector,” says Rick Levin, a former president of Yale, who runs Coursera, the biggest of the MOOCs.

At the margins, technology is making education cheaper, more convenient and more effective. University of the People, a non-profit American-accredited online university, offers degrees to students all over the world at a total cost of $4,000; if they are poor, they can get scholarships. It started teaching in 2009, was accredited last year, has produced 65 graduates so far and now has 1,500 students.

The faculty is made up of academics who volunteer their services. Read the rest of this entry »