Nanobots not predicted to teach our kids… yet

James Bell child care, childcare

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After several months as CEO of Linx Institute, preparing students for a career in the early childhood education and care based industries, I’ve had time to reflect on what’s happening out there in the ‘real world’. I also want to take share some interesting data about these high-growth industries.

The future looks bright for job prospects in these key industries! This is certainly the experience of our sister company Attitude Recruitment Solutions. Over the past few months, there has been strong growth in job postings from clients in these areas.

Early childhood educators can expect to see an increase of 30,000 new jobs. New data from the Good Education Group (and commented on by Patrick Avenell in his recent post on the Early Learning Review) shows early childhood education is one of the top 5 fastest growing jobs. This trend reflects recent predictions of double-digit growth in this industry to 2020 and 2025.

This presents a fantastic opportunity for those looking to get into the sector. It also represents strong career prospects for people currently working as educators and teachers. However, in light of one of my previous articles on LinkedIn, robots aren’t yet poised to take education jobs. Well, at least for the foreseeable future!

So where will the technological impacts be felt? I believe it will be those areas where technology can enable learning and communication. This is an area close to my heart given my deep interest in how technology can be used to improve life and education. However, technology uptake and integration is an area where Australia lags international peers such as Finland, Hong Kong and Singapore. It’s an area that’s consistently discussed and engaged with here at Linx Institute. It’s also a core concern of our sister companies.

One of our core beliefs is that you need to embrace technology in order to teach it. We believe it’s time to go ‘all in’ on technology rather than resist. We believe that tech usage by young children is beneficial but also necessary as a preparatory life skill.

As a parent, I love the ability to ‘peer’ inside my child’s classroom and stay connected. But I’m even more interested in the plans our sister company has to start offering ‘kids coding’ in early childcare centres. We believe in the importance of helping prepare young children and provide opportunities to engage in appropriate activities. Kids coding introduces logic, language, basic coding principles and teamwork.

Given the existing prevalence and use of technology by Gen Y and Gen Z children, it’s critical that we address what an appropriate childhood means in the 21st Century. It’s hard to ignore the stark predictions that as educators we are trying to prepare children for jobs that don’t yet exist. These jobs will be created by ever increasing technological advances.

At Linx Institute we think we’re slightly ahead of the curve. Besides the above, we’ve integrated technology communication tools to enable parent’s involvement in their child’s learning. We think these represent a great set of skills for the future. It’s also something for aspiring educators to add to their toolkit.

James Bell, CEO