Do you know how the digital revolution, including artificial intelligence, is transforming our world? Do you know which skills have the most potential for the future job market? Do you know what principles education must be based on to ensure that our youth are equipped as citizens and workers of tomorrow? Test your knowledge by answering the following five questions.
1. True or false? By 2030, automation is not expected to replace more than 20% of existing jobs.
According to a report* conducted to understand better how to implement the “ideal class of 2030”, automation could replace up to 50% of existing jobs.
The same report notes that:
- 30% to 40% of professional occupations will require socio-emotional skills.
- Up to 11.5 million jobs associated with lower levels of education are likely to disappear.
- Given our current education system, less than half of the students are likely to be qualified for the fastest-growing jobs.
*The class of 2030 and life-ready learning: The technology imperative (Microsoft and McKinsey & Company’s Education Practice)
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2. The entrepreneur and cognitive science researcher, Jérémy Lamri, has written a book and a doctoral thesis at the University Paris Descartes on 21st-century skills. What are the four skills he believes are essential to succeed in this century?
A) Research, modelling, report writing and computation.
B) Specific technical skills, ease in performing repetitive tasks, ease in following rules and the ability to memorize.
C) Creativity, critical thinking, cooperation and communication.
The 4 competencies of the 21st century, also called the “4Cs”, are:
- Creativity… to find solutions
- Critical thinking… to think logically
- Cooperation and Communication… to work together
According to Jérémy Lamri’s observations, “what is most important in today’s economy, and will be even more important in tomorrow’s, is the ability to solve problems” (CGE, 2019). “These skills are, in a way, the basis of collective intelligence, but also today’s and especially tomorrow’s professional performance on mental activities. There is also a meta-competence, the ability to learn, which is fundamental,” explains the researcher. However, developing all these skills takes time, according to Lamri, mainly because they require us to change our way of thinking.
Find out more: The 4 core competencies of the 21st century
3. Which of the following statements is/are accurate with respect to the technological revolution we are beginning to experience?
A) For the first time in human history, knowledge is being renewed faster than generations.
B) Today, we can consume in a single day the amount of information that a person living in the Middle Ages consumed during his or her lifetime.
C) The digital revolution is bringing about not only socio-economic but also physical and cognitive changes.
All these answers are correct.
As the access to information has become more democratic, schools and teachers are no longer the privileged guardians of knowledge. However, their role in guiding the learner through this sea of information becomes crucial. At the same time, since the worker of tomorrow will have to be able to reinvent himself, it becomes essential for him to “learn how to learn”.
According to Quebec writer and essayist Ollivier Dyens, we must accept that technologies will be better teachers than we are – in the sense that they will have access to more information, be more “patient”, available at all times and able to adapt what they do to the learner. On the other hand, according to him, we can become better coaches, better mentors, better advisors than machines: “Our added value is human contact.”
Find out more: Digital Revolution: 4 Challenges for Education
4. Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming our world. Several initiatives have emerged in recent years to develop it in a humanly responsible manner and to democratize it among the population so that the latter can influence the decisions that concern them. The following initiatives have been taken in our country, with the exception of one. Which one?
A) A Canadian university has launched a free online course for all Canadian citizens on the basics and issues of AI.
B) AI has officially entered the Quebec school curriculum.
C) In partnership with a European country, Canada adopted a joint declaration to promote a human-centred vision of AI.
D) A declaration for the responsible development of artificial intelligence was created by leading actors in this field in Montreal.
Rather, a university in Finland, the University of Helsinki, has launched a free online course for all its citizens on the basics and issues of AI. Note that an English version of this online course is now available.
However, some initiatives here are worth mentioning: TÉLUQ offers free introductory training in artificial intelligence vocabulary, and IVADO in collaboration with Mila (Institut québécois d’intelligence artificielle) offers an introductory course in deep learning on the EDUlib platform. In addition, several of our universities offer students specialized AI courses and programs.
Otherwise, the following initiatives have been launched in our country:
- AI has officially entered the Quebec school curriculum through the Digital Action Plan for Education and Higher Education, which was unveiled in 2018 and will end in 2023.
- France and Canada adopted a joint declaration in 2018 to promote a human-centred vision of AI (respect for human rights, inclusion and diversity).
- The Montreal Declaration for the Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence was launched in 2018 with the aim of opening a dialogue at the national and international levels and to provide ethical guidelines for this technology. Further, it aims to guide the digital revolution so that it benefits everyone, making its development inclusive, equitable and ecologically sustainable.
Find out more: Initiatives for a responsible and humanistic artificial intelligence
5. The OECD has identified seven principles that should be integrated into any learning environment to ensure that it is truly effective and responsive to the needs of 21st-century learners. Select the appropriate term to complement each of the following principles related to the learning environment.
Terms: their cognitive background, “horizontal connectivity”, the social nature of learning, programs that require work and are stimulating for everyone, that learners are its essential participants
A) The learning environment builds on ________ and actively encourages well-organized cooperative learning.
B) It recognizes ________, encourages their active involvement and helps them understand their learning activity.
C) It is very attentive to the individual characteristics of its learners, particularly in terms of ________.
D) It designs ________, but not excessively so.
E) It strongly encourages ________ between fields of knowledge and disciplines, but also with the community and the world.
The complete, correct principles are as follows:
A) The learning environment builds on the social nature of learning and actively encourages well-organized cooperative learning.
B) It recognizes that learners as its essential participants, encourages their active involvement and helps them understand their learning activity.
C) It is very attentive to the individual characteristics of its learners, particularly in terms of their cognitive background.
D) It designs programs that require work and are stimulating for everyone, but not excessively so.
E) It strongly encourages “horizontal connectivity” between fields of knowledge and disciplines, but also with the community and the world.
The other two principles are:
- The learning environment operates with clarity of expectations and uses evaluation strategies consistent with those expectations; it places a strong emphasis on formative evaluation.
- Professionals in the learning community are acutely aware of learners’ motivations and the role of emotions in determining outcomes.
While each of these seven principles was already recognized, the novelty that the OECD emphasizes is the fact that they must all be present, since it is in their sum that their strength lies.
Find out more: 7 Principles of 21st Century Learning and eLearning