With 2017 upon us, new innovations will continuously develop changing our lives, for what it seems to be the better. For example, last month Amazon shared this video of their new “Amazon Go” stores:
The ease of simply being able to walk into a store, scan your phone, pick up what you need, and then leave, will making shopping a lot less stressful. This CNET article titled it succinctly, “Amazon Go reinvents grocery store: No lines, no cash”.
Notice anything else?
No one is working there either.
Of course (at least for now), they will have people stocking the store, but there are no cashiers. Not only is this more convenient for the consumer, but it will also make more money for Amazon. For most organizations, if a job can be automated, it eventually will be.
Seeing this store reminded me of Dan Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind”, as he saw these shifts in the world. In it, he says the following:
“Mere survival today depends on being able to do something that overseas knowledge workers can’t do cheaper, that powerful computers can’t do faster, and that satisfies one of the nonmaterial, transcendent desires of an abundant age.”
This will make education more important in our world, but only if we are willing to shift education to coincide with these changes in the world. Pink continues on to forecast what will be needed as we move forward:
“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind—creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.”
Are schools paying attention to these changes, and if they are, what are we doing differently to ensure that our students are prepared now and in the future? One of the most important things we can teach our students is how to deal with and create change; it is not only constant, but continuously inevitable.