Human Skills for the Machine Age

One aspect of the way one learns and researches in ‘Modern Times’ is that it’s disjointed and non-linear…and sometimes old school?  Today, for example, sitting on the shelf in the GEM office, was the 2014 book “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a time of Brilliant Technologies,” by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. I was meandering, waiting for the coffee to finish, and spied it. The book’s on EXACTLY what I’ve been learning about and searching for, for the past 2 months. I grabbed it and skipped to the bit about impact on humans.

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In Recommendation for Individuals, Chapter 12:

Our recommendations about how people can remain valuable knowledge workers in the new machine age are straightforward: work to improve the skills of ideation, large-frame pattern recognition, and complex communication instead of just the 3 R’s. And whenever possible, take advantage of self-organizing learning environments which have a track record of developing these skills in people.

The chapter goes on to discuss how schools are still focused on rote learning and the 3 R’s (which I think everyone knows is reading, writing and arithmetic). The future-value skills they suggest are best learned in SELF-ORGANIZING LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS, aka Montessori style, as demonstrated by Sugata Mitra, who demonstrated that children don’t need a teacher lecturing in order to learn – they can teach themselves.

I’m going to take it home and read the rest now!


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