The study “New Vision for Education: Fostering Social and Emotional Learning Through Technology” analyses the role that technology could play in improving education in the future. In the 21st Century, students need to go beyond traditional academic learning; they must also be experts in skills such as collaboration, communication and problem solving, which are developed through social and emotional learning.

This new report prepared by the World Economic Forum, in conjunction with The Boston Consulting Group, is the continuation of the study published in 2015 about the skills gap and how to address this through technology. The report establishes 16 key skills for education in the 21st Century:

Foundational literacies:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Scientific literacy
  • ICT literacy
  • Financial literacy
  • Cultural and civic literacy

Competencies:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Collaboration

Character qualities:

  • Curiosity
  • Initiative
  • Persistence/grit
  • Adaptability
  • Leadership
  • Social and cultural awareness

In the new report, the WEF examines the social and emotional skills that will be fundamental for those joining the employment market in the future; it is estimated that 65% of children will work in jobs that don’t exist today, thereby underlining the importance of creativity, initiative and adaptability.

As a result, the use of technology; in education plays a fundamental role in encouraging these skills in an effective and profitable manner, being a tool that both parents and educators can use to complement and extend the learning experience of children.

However, there are barriers that prevent all of the benefits from existing, such as limited knowledge, insufficient prioritisation, lack of knowledge of measurement and low levels of funding and resources. To this we must add the lack of agreement among interest groups about how to define these skills clearly and how to measure their implementation and the results achieved.

Given this situation, it is those with political responsibility who must take the lead in defining the agenda for a change of policy, prioritising efforts to encourage skills and develop assessments and measurements, as well as providing finance and other resources to look for and adopt skills related to technological education.

For their part, parents and educators play a vital role, since working together may enable them to make the most of ed-tech.

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