Are Classrooms Prepared For The Age Of Automation?

Preparing Today’s Students For Tomorrow’s Challenges

What will the workplace look like in ten years? In 2018 we engage in automation on a daily basis. Self checkouts, factory-line production, pre-recorded messages. Please hold to speak to an adviser. The few are creating solutions that free up the time of the many. That’s very considerate, but in a post-automated world, where does that leave the worker of tomorrow? Can everyone be an entrepreneur? Is every student destined to create a tech startup? No, but there is still an integral place for lateral thinking in the future. Let’s look at the landscape of today’s education.

Adobe Unveils New Research

Last week at Bett, Europe’s biggest edtech expo, Adobe released a comprehensive piece of researchCreative Problem Solving in Schools: Essential Skills Today’s Students Need for Jobs in Tomorrow’s Age of Automation. Adobe interviewed 2,000 educators from the U.K., Germany, Japan, and the U.S. delving into the perspectives of those at the front line of teaching. Specifically, what are the prevailing opinions of creative problem solving in the classroom as a critical skill set?

Conclusively, three quarters of teachers asked, predicted that professions requiring creative problem solving are less likely to be impacted by automation. Lateral thinking skills need to be taught in the classroom to prepare students for the workplace of the future. But where are the tools and technologies to service this need?

“There is a clear gap between what educators and policymakers know tomorrow’s workforce needs, and what today’s students are learning in school,” said Tacy Trowbridge, global lead, Education Programs, Adobe. “Educators, policymakers and industry—technology in particular—need to come together to improve opportunities for students. Creative technologies can help educators teach and nurture critically important ‘soft’ skills, and policies and curricula need to evolve to complete the equation.”


Connecting The Dots

Teachers interviewed revealed that students learn better via creating. A hands-on, immersive approach yields better results. However, there is a disconnect between educators and policymakers as evidenced by the resources currently reaching classrooms.

90 percent of teachers interviewed believe we need better solutions to integrate creative problem solving into the curricula.

More than half of educators revealed that they do not have the tools or training to nurture creative engagement in their students.

79 percent of teachers feel that there isn’t enough time to create, which is the biggest barrier to nurturing creative problem solving. Lack of budget is seen as the biggest factor in this obstacle.

Ten Requirements For An Evolving Workplace

  1. Independent learning
  2. Learning through success and failure
  3. Engaging with narratives
  4. Working within diverse teams
  5. Self-expression and dialogue
  6. Empathy and personal understanding
  7. Persistence, grit and entrepreneurial spirit
  8. Accepting challenges and taking risks
  9. Conflict management and argumentation
  10. Innovative thinking


Where Are The Tools To Foster Innovation?

Do teaching tools exist that can prepare students for a more creative workflow? Yes, and they are easy to implement! All a teacher needs is a commitment to integrating play, conversation, and creativity in their class. And then technology will slot in seamlessly.

What are we doing to help? Well, Wibbu has built the language-learning suite, Ruby Rei! It uses engagement, immersion, and game-play. We’ve developed a forward-thinking tool to engage students in an exciting form of education. But Ruby Rei couldn’t work without a commitment from teachers to snare their class in story-lead, play-based learning. We make Ruby Rei an intuitive experience for teachers. And then teachers take their students on a language-learning adventure!

Our dream is to make every learning experience as fun and immersive as a Ruby Rei language seminar. Built around problem solving, big ideas, communication and compromise. We need teachers to take risks and engage with the probable future their students will live in. That means loosening structures, creating new avenues to learn, and creating safe spaces to create in.  Forming a  sentence in a foreign language can be as creative as painting a picture. It is an expression of intent, ideas, and individuality. It requires lateral thinking. Let’s contribute to a new generation of engineers, storytellers, and artists.


Truan Flynn, Educational Game Writer