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Bringing education out of the Industrial age – The Day Before Tomorrow episode 2

The Drum's Day Before Tomorrow series has continued, with the second episode – Education - exploring how technology is disrupting the education sector.

The film premiered in London last night and attracted a variety of professionals currently working in the space.

It featured the likes of Rose Yakob from Genius Steals, Nigel Vaz of Sapient Nitro, Marc Lewis from the School of Communication Arts and former schools Minister, Lord Jim Knight.

Taking a look at how the education system currently functions, Lord Knight stated that it has remained relatively unchanged since the early 20th century.

“Historically we’ve had this education system where you would turn up on time, you’re sorted by age, not by the stage of your learning, and you change lessons all the time, you waste time moving from one classroom to another. But that fits a factory model of learning.

“The post-industrial method of learning is only something that is starting to emerge. But it is one where you are learning together. Where you’re learning at home as much as you’re learning at school,” he said.

Forrester analyst James McQuivey explained that the process of employment has been massively disrupted and ultimately the way children are educated for the world of work must be disrupted as well.

“I grew up in a world where you thought, ‘I’m going to land a job with IBM and have it for 50 years, then I’m going to retire with a gold watch and a pension’. How many of those things no longer exist? No one has a 50 year job, there are no pensions left, and the gold watch never happened.

"Already we’ve been through a disruption of how we’ve been employed. The big challenge is for schools to match this; the education system needs to be digitally disrupted,” he urged.

The film also explored the various new technologies entering classrooms, what could or should be taught as part of the curriculum - 3D printing, or Kickstarter, or Bitcoin or even social media for example – as well as some of the more extreme measures for redefining the education experience.

However, there are currently circa eight million pupils in 25,000 schools across the UK and so the process of change is going to be slow and the film also delves into what this means for the role of the government, the industry and the individual.

The Day Before Tomorrow's episode on Education followed the release of the first part in the series looking at how technology is shaping the Health sector.

This evening (5 November) episode 3 - Smart Cities - will premier in London.

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Jennifer Faull

Jen Faull is deputy news editor at The Drum with a remit to cover the latest developments in the retail and FMCG sectors. Based in London, she has interviewed major business figures including top marketers from Mondelez, Unilever, Tesco, and Lidl.

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