Why is technology important today and in the future, and why should children learn technology skills?
Technology has enriched our lives with greater convenience, improved access to information, and revolutionised how we work. Although many of us are now familiar with using technology, most of us would not know how to build and maintain the websites and Apps we have become so reliant upon. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of developing technology expertise and how these build the future skills required to succeed in education and beyond; the consequences of children failing to develop an in-depth understanding of technology; and how parents and educators can help equip children to develop the tech skills that will be required to thrive in tomorrow’s world.
The benefits of developing technological expertise
Those students who are developing tech skills now are silently moving ahead of the competition, learning skills that will be directly relevant to industries and careers of the future – from artificial intelligence to blockchain and machine learning; these are all causing seismic shifts in the ways that businesses and societies operate. Knowledge is power, and understanding these technologies will enable children to flourish in their formal education and beyond.
From learning how to code apps and websites, to knowing how to navigate video editing software, these skills not only help to build directly useful skills required to bring technology-related ideas to life, but they also develop coveted transferable skills. In a world of information, knowing the right answer is actually becoming far less important than knowing the right question to ask. The project-centric nature of learning technology skills, such as programming Apps or developing digital photography portfolios, instills children with the mindset to break down complex problems into more manageable pieces. This is a skill that is increasingly demanded at leading universities and also in high-skilled professions. Children need to know how to search, research and frame the question they are really asking, and this is a vital skill that learning technology develops. Learning how to code can help nurture the problem-solving skills that are central to success in formal education and beyond.
What happens if children don’t develop technological expertise?
Children who don’t develop technological expertise will be left behind in the digital revolution. They may also miss out on the secondary benefits of learning technology skills, such as building problem-solving and logic skills. It’s been proven that learning new skills also equips children with a developmental mindset, which also improves learning agility (quote research). This will become increasingly important in education and beyond when the workforce will need to adapt new skills as technology evolves. Continuous learning will be an essential component to keep up with the changing world of work.
The danger of not learning technology skills is that children will only become passive consumers of technology. Whilst it’s fun to watch videos on YouTube and to play games on a smartphone, it’s imperative that children can create that content too. They can learn to play an active role in the future of entertainment or build a platform that millions of people use to create content. By learning how to code children go from being passive users of apps and games to actively participating in their creation.
What are the best ways to develop new skills?
This information leads us to question, how can we encourage children to develop these ever-crucial tech skills? Firstly, engaging with extracurricular activities is vital, as national curriculum has not yet considered these skills of the future. The leaders in technological professions are worried that this lack of engagement at high school level will lead to less knowledge, interest and passion in technology-based subjects, resulting in less expertise as the world technologically evolves. Therefore, providing children with opportunities to learn advanced skills in this field will widen their prospects as adults. Furthermore, as this provision is not yet built into secondary curriculum, students will hugely benefit from consistent reinforcement of these skills, meaning immersive exposure is most beneficial. Learning tech skills can be likened to learning languages, in the sense that full exposure is the best way to gain thorough, long-term understanding. This approach should be encouraged from a young age when a child’s brain has a sponge-like nature, taking in information faster and developing connections that will stick in their mind. For these reasons, providing children with experiences that allow them focused and consistent learning environments is the best way for them to master a technological discipline. This approach will also encourage them to break the habits of being a passive technology user.
Children who don’t develop technological expertise will be left behind in the digital revolution
Through its award-winning summer schools, Immerse Education aims to inspire future generations to become technologically minded. On its Technology programmes, students aged 11-15 are encouraged to develop practical and transferable skills that can be applied to their studies and future endeavours, expanding on the curriculum taught at school.
These courses, including App Development and Graphic & 3D design, offer the opportunity to learn innovative tech skills, but also encourage students to develop flexibility, creative thinking and problem solving strategies. Passionate and expert tutors nurture the students’ passion for technology-based subjects. This guidance transforms an interest in technology, giving it both purpose and direction as they explore technical workshops, key theory, and exciting hands-on projects, showing them the endless possibilities that technological knowledge can provide. These skills are developed in an inspiring and supportive environment which also teaches young people to develop balanced and healthy lifestyles. Skills sessions are interspersed with cultural and social activities and excursions that ensure students enjoy all the opportunities that their summer holiday has to offer.
To learn more, visit www.immerse.education (Use code TECH20 for £250 off all tech courses)