The digital age, education, and work: details of a transformation

The digital age, education, and work: details of a transformation

Currently, technological advances have influenced practically all levels of our daily lives. The technological revolution is evident in our daily lives to the point that not a day goes by without us being in contact with a technological device. Thus, the workplace and education have not been exempt from having technological influences.

In this article we tell you how the digital age is transforming education and work in the world.

Foundations of the digital age

The digital age, or Fourth Industrial Revolution, is considered to have started in the 1980s. In such a way, we evolved from analog electronic and mechanical devices to current digital technologies. This progress is characterized by advances such as miniaturization, nanotechnology, quantum computing, and telecommunications.

Digital technologies today exhibit transformative advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, massive data processing, robotics, and biotechnology.

Some analysts claim that we are already on the brink of a post-digital era. In it, technology creates a world of deeply personalized and instantaneous experiences. There, organizations must be able to take advantage of these opportunities in people’s day-to-day lives. Additionally, they need to be ready to effectively address critical issues such as privacy, security, and ethics for their users.

How the digital age has changed education

It is no secret to anyone that education has undergone an enormous transformation from the implementation of technological tools. Before, when we talked about education, we immediately thought of the physical classroom. However, today when talking about education it is inevitable to think about the Internet and digital media.

As early as 2015, the European Parliament signed that digital-age education is more about the creation of knowledge and less about its mere acquisition. Today, online training and its various applications, such as e-learning platforms and communication software, promote the existence of learning communities outside the limits of physical classrooms, educational institutions, countries, and generational groups.

For the institution, technology in education and its transformative power in the European Union is made visible in three ways:

  • Internet and telecommunications. It manifests itself in Open Educational Resources (OER) such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and other forms of e-learning.
  • One-to-one and multimedia tools, such as electronic devices and digital educational materials.
  • Technologies that improve the knowledge of teachers in the individual and group performance of their students.

Technology for educational innovation

In the digital age, technology has made education more:

  • Personalized, with the use of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT, its acronym in English), and data analytics. Educators can better understand what students know and need. Thus, training becomes more effective and efficient.
  • Immersion. Extended reality tools (virtual, augmented, and mixed) create opportunities to learn by doing.
  • Accessible. More people can learn through e-learning because of its low cost. Likewise, thanks to the autonomy of this remote training, students can create their own study plan, adapting to their needs.

How the digital age has changed work

Since the declaration of the state of alarm by COVID-19, up to a third of Spanish employees have teleworked. Whereas before, people who worked from home were no more than 10% in the country.

The rise of telecommuting in Spain and the world highlights the transformation that the digital age has brought about at work. According to the science hub of the European Commission, the main changes are:

  • New technologies that reform jobs. For one thing, millions of jobs are at risk from automation. While, on the other hand, technology creates new types of work and modifies what people do in their jobs and how they do it.
  • Soft and digital skills are more necessary. The vacancies that demand them tend to be better paid. Furthermore, the fastest-growing occupations in the European Union, since 2011, require above-average ICT skills and involve social interaction.
  • Technology drives new forms of employment, allowing remote work and creating job opportunities, such as outsourcing platforms. However, it can also promote the de-standardization of labor relations.

Based on the above, you have to ask yourself about the next steps . The idea labs Das Progressive Zentrum and Policy Network highlight the importance of:

  • Educate to achieve job profiles that combine specific vocational skills with transversal skills such as literacy, the use of mathematics in daily life, adaptability, and problem-solving.
  • Develop generic ICT skills (use of technology in daily work) and specific (programming, development and administration).
  • Recognize the risks and opportunities of automation. While employment in certain sectors will decline (such as manufacturing), it will increase in others (such as IT and education). Human labor will be needed more in non-routine and creative tasks.

In conclusion, the digital age has immensely transformed the development of work and educational processes. Technology is advancing by leaps and bounds and with it all aspects of human life. Therefore, it is necessary to be constantly updated to keep up with the great changes in the world and its development.