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Preparing learners for the demands of the digital workplace

Why direct instruction and the development of core knowledge and skills are vital components in preparing learners for the demands of the digital workplace. This is a preview of an article from Education Insights report #2: Trends in International Education.

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Phillip Lupton is Director at Elm Education and has over 20 years of expertise in both public and private education across the UK, China and MENA regions. He has made significant contributions in system-level reform, teacher development, national policy and curriculum design.

Hana Twebti is the Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Training at Elm Education. Hana is an international education specialist who’s worked in Britain and the Middle East. She has led change in school improvement initiatives, teacher training, national exams and textbook development.

Are we at risk of putting the digital cart before the horse?

Whether you’re excited or unnerved by the increasing pervasiveness of digital technology, there’s no denying its growing impact on how and what we teach. A recent McKinsey & Company report considers how educators should respond to digitalisation, with a particular focus on MENA: ‘As companies in all sectors deploy new technologies including automation and artificial intelligence (AI), workers need to adapt their capabilities continuously. Private- and public-sector leaders have a critical role to play in helping prepare the workforce of tomorrow for this skills revolution.’

The report arrives in an educational landscape in which all stakeholders must grapple with the potential uses and misuses of language learning models (LLMs) like ChatGPT. Leaders in K-12 education will find the following three principles to be useful navigational aids:

  1. Digital use does not in itself develop digital literacy.
  2. Prerequisite knowledge and skills still matter.
  3. Effective teachers and school leaders understand points 1 and 2.

Digital use does not in itself develop digital literacy

To kick us off, let’s get this old chestnut out of the way: like Santa and the Easter Bunny, ‘digital natives’ do not exist. …

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