Education, a life-time to learn

The forthcoming issue of LINC Magazine focuses on education and the changes brought by new technologies

Education, a life-time to learn

At the time of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the rules pertaining to the labour market have changed. To cope with the change, organizations and talents need to focus on education and skills. To do so, it is essential to know how our way of learning is changing and how new technologies and artificial intelligence can help us. How relevant is to look to the future? And how relevant is to keep traditional learning systems instead?

La ministra Valeria Fedeli

La ministra Valeria Fedeli

On Monday the 9th of October, the new issue of LINC Magazine will be available in the “Magazine” section on this site and attached to the digital edition of “Il Corriere della Sera”. The chosen subject is education. Articles, investigative reports, interviews and photo galleries will be published online up to mid-December. Indeed, as explained by the Minister Valeria Fedeli, interviewed by LINC, continuing education represents a crucial issue to boost economic systems.

Education between past and future
In the editorial article signed by LINC Director, Serena Scarpello, the topic is clearly addressed: how efficient are the learning systems exploited today? Today we may happen to see a 16-years-old opening a school of robotics for children, but we also have to acknowledge that people generally should read more. What’s the current situation? The latest figures by the European Community show that in Italy a young man out of five (19,9%) is a NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training). This is highest figure among the 28 countries in the EU.

Which direction should we take instead? The key word is learnability, the capacity to maintain ourselves constantly updated. The arguments raised by the Minister Valeria Fedeli during the interview made by LINC Magazine also address this issue. The Minister spoke about MIUR’s proposals about learnability and employability. The Buona Scuola (Good School) Reform introduced compulsory apprenticeship programs for all students from high school.

To face future challenges, for instance, there is the Digital School National Plan, and, to deal with the NEET, 20 million euros of PON funds were allocated this year to strengthen their education. Another hot topic is research, which represents a problematic field because there are plenty of highly-skilled and competitive students on one side but little opportunities to enter the labour market on the other side. «We are trying to accelerate making specific investments to put the National Plan into effects in the sector», explained the Minister.

Valeria Cagnina at the Robot Campus

Valeria Cagnina at the Robot Campus

If the Millennials become the teachers
Technology obviously keeps moving forward and has become an integral part of the Millennials’ and post-Millennials’ life, the generation born after the year 2000. So, it may happen to see a 16-years-old fond of robotics, who opens a school in order to teach it to children. This is not science fiction, but the true story of the ManPowerGroup Human Age Institute Foundation award winners Valeria Cagnina and Leonardo Falanga (see the article on the summer campus on robotics). After all, the need to access new learnings has turned the old hierarchy upside down: while we were used to see the old teaching the young, we now face the technology paradox, where the educated learns from the uneducated.

Technology and digitization help education
Indeed, it is technology that makes access to continuing education possible. Through smartphones, behaviour simulators and hackathons for instance. These tools are increasingly more exploited inside organizations. Sanofi and SEA developed their own concept of learnability. The Society that manages the Milan Linate and Malpensa Airports developed programs both for HR systems and internal communication, accessible by the employees through their personal smartphones.

formazione educationThe network offers new opportunities, as in the context of the new digital frontier of learning, the Massive open online courses (Mooc), open courses available on the internet. These are high-level, open free courses, devoted to many different subjects, from maths to coding. They are issued by universities, business schools, institutions and independent platforms. In Italy, there are several platforms available: from Oilproject to those launched by universities such as Pok Polimi and Cà Foscari Open Knowledge.

New challenges
In this issue of LINC Magazine, Paolo Gallo, HR Director of the World Economic Forum and author of the book La bussola del successo (The compass of success), explains that we need to move from an «obsolete Learning paradigm to a different one both as individuals and as a society». According to Gallo, we need to re-think what learning means to us at the time of artificial intelligence and machine learning, which means the capacity of computers to learn without being programmed.

Another challenge, however, is the professional training for women, both concerning operating labour policies aimed at increasing female employment, and continuing education in the workplace to improve skills and competitiveness for those women who already have a job but wish to move up the corporate ladder. The choice to offer ad hoc learning packages for women is not enough. It is essential to design such packages in an innovative way.

(Translated by Cecilia Braghin)


La redazione di LINC