Mar 25, 2019

Collaborative spaces – the place to develop skills for the future

Ellen Van de Woestijne in Education

3 min read

There is a lot of fear about how automation will impact employment. Some of it is justified and some of it less so, however…

Popular estimates suggest that 65% of today’s children ...will work in jobs that don’t even exist yet.”* 

Undoubtedly we will all need to be technically literate in the future, but we also need to develop softer skills that cannot be automated. Skills such as:

  • problem solving
  • creativity
  • social skills and relationship building
  • initiative
  • teamwork and team building

Collaboration brings minds together and produces better learning outcomes

It’s widely agreed that to effectively equip students for the future, Higher Education needs to flip the classroom and adopt more active learning styles. Educators across the globe are taking steps towards more active learning.**

Active learning encourages more engagement, and by working together and collaborating, students can fill in gaps in their knowledge, develop essential skills for the future and make a step change in their understanding and learning outcomes.


Collaborating builds employable skills

When everyone’s collaborating, teachers and learners can build employable skills like teamwork and problem solving.

However, to make this happen, staff and students need the right spaces to work together - collaborative classrooms, designed for groupwork and sharing. Out goes traditional classroom design and in comes learning zones and sharing across groups or across the whole room.

Edtech and the collaborative learning space

Edtech’s role must be to provide the answer to “How can we do this?”

Edtech providers need to provide tools that are easy to use and highly effective at establishing new and engaging learning environments.

In this way, I believe we can help to create and support a more collaborative campus.


Teamwork with collaboration

With successful collaboration tools, Higher Education can make blended learning a reality, facilitating group projects and interactive lesson content. Teamwork can occur across geographies, across subject disciplines, across institutions. Teams can reach outside the building - across distances, across campus, even across the world.

The right technology makes this all far easier to realise and far more likely that successful learning outcomes are achieved.

Collaborate more effectively, today

Everywhere, change is happening fast, the World Economic Forum report on the future of jobs has suggested we need major change by 2022.*** And often we hear of a skills shortage from employers, as education is not adapting fast enough to the new world of work.


Collaborate more effectively

I believe that there’s no need to wait for the future. Now is a great time to take the first step to more collaborative spaces.

Let’s create more effective collaborative learning spaces together and start building and developing the skills students need today.

Let me know what you think.


Sources: 

* https://shifthappens.wikispaces.com

**https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/02/active-learning-classrooms-seven-tips-higher-education-perfcon

*** World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs-report-2018


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