The business world is driven by the latest technology advancements and innovations. Integrating tech trends into academic programs is forward-thinking, but challenging, as the trends revolutionize so quickly (seemingly daily). Effective educational systems that best prepare students for the workforce would think less about traditional academic curricula and more about what students take away from the classroom. Both business leaders and schools play a part in this “technology school of thought,” which is driven by innovation, collaboration, business technology, and new benchmarks of success.
As today’s business and technology landscape changes, it requires students to change with it. This element of change is exciting, but means that the responsibility of teachers is to demonstrate how to learn rather than what to learn. By understanding the heightened importance of learning how to learn, teachers can be more creative in the classroom, ultimately fostering innovation—the ultimate driver in today’s business world.
Innovation also relies on the ability to work collaboratively. This “peer-driven” approach to teaching may not seem particularly modern at the surface, but I cannot stress enough how important working in teams is to navigating a company in our tech-driven world. By bringing together diverse perspectives, students learn how to be resourceful and solutions-driven. These kinds of problem-solving skills are so much more important to a business than quantitative test scores.
Knowing how to master business technology, such as social media and development tools, proves invaluable in today’s professional world. That said, schools and companies should create partnerships by having business leaders engage in hands-on roles to shape their future workforces. Students who have solid foundations of business-focused technology will have a competitive edge over others entering the working world.
Perhaps the most critical element to instill in the classroom is changing the benchmarks of success for teachers and students. The current focus on test scores and grades doesn’t motivate or reward the innovation and resourcefulness that drive long-term success. This is the hardest change to make but it will also make the most impact on preparing the future workforce to create and use tomorrow’s technology.
As technology continues to change, so will the value of innovation and collaboration, combined with a solid foundation in technology enabled by broader benchmarks that motivate students and teachers. As leaders in corporate, tech-reliant industries, we have an obligation to partner with schools to develop programs that encourage this new “school of thought” and equip students with the resources and programs to succeed.