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NO.345 10.16.2017

“Future of Industry 4.0 Will Be Hinged on Education”

“It appears as if the Era of Fourth Industrialization would be a ‘technology-dominated’ society”

“But the future of Industry 4.0 will be quite the contrary; it will be ‘human-dominated’ in the sense that people will be more closely connected and jointly tackle complex problems with creativity and critical thinking. The education of future must accordingly be changed in anticipation of an era of convergence in which people, technology and humanities will come together in an unprecedented way.”

Thus said Professor Taeho Yu of the University of Virginia in a special lecture given at the publication event for his new book, Education is Hope in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The special lecture, hosted by Kyung Hee University Communication and Press, was held on August 10, 2017, at Cheongwoon Building on Seoul Campus under the title, “How can we prepare for the changes to be brought on by Industry 4.0?”

Professor Yu, an expert in educational technology and learning theory at the University of Virginia, Va., is currently visiting Korea to speak his view on the importance of education in the coming age of Industry 4.0.

“The role of teachers will be increasingly more important in the coming age”
In his special lecture, Professor Yu touched upon various possible changes widely predicted to accompany Industry 4.0 and the associated educational and professional demands of future, such as the transformation of education from linear transmission of knowledge to multilaterally shared collective intelligence.

Professor Yu said, “It has been predicted that 7.1 million traditional jobs would disappear and two million new jobs would appear by the year 2020. We need to take note of the prediction that 65,000 new jobs would be created in the field of education and training.” Even as robots with artificial intelligence emerge, the role of educator will become even more critical.

Among the detailed explanations on diverse possible changes associated with Industry 4.0 in the fields of medicine, manufacturing, transportation, education, and so on, the audience was particularly focused on the area of education. Digitalization of education will accelerate even more rapidly, taking advantage of such new technologies as Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR). The role of mobile computing devices as the medium of education will be increasingly more significant, eventually becoming ubiquitous. Personalized education program tailored to individual needs using Big Data will be possible in the near future.

“Convergent talent with critical thinking, social skills, and intelligent comprehension”
What type of new talents will shape the future? Based on his analysis of the top ten skills needed in the future published by the World Economic Forum, Professor Yu claimed, “In the era of Industry 4.0, the key talents sought after in people will be a convergence of creativity, critical thinking, social skills, and cognitive capability that will come together to achieve complex problem solving.” He then identified four key capabilities represented by “4Cs,” meaning Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. Linear transmission of knowledge in classroom facilitated by the traditional didactic repetition and memorization will yield to free flows of exchange in knowledge, interpretation, and opinions, underpinned by a completely new characterization of the concept of ‘intelligence.’ Professor Yu said, “There will be a radical transformation in our concept of intelligence in the future. The demarcation lines between the producers, transmitters, and consumers of information will be blurred, as information and knowledge will be geminated and grown in the process of constant feedbacks set in social learning through a massively large collective thinking on the internet.”

In conclusion, Professor Yu added, “Micro-learning will be the mainstay of future teaching format in which one short class is focused on one topic. Other promising educational formats of future may include learning under 90 seconds, student-oriented self-learning, non-linear learning, single topic in multiple application, Interactive-Rich Media learning, and individually-tailored learning.”

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