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5 Must Haves when Implementing an Industry 4.0 Training Program

There are quite a few considerations to take into account when adopting and implementing an Industry 4.0 training program. Over the past several months, Intelitek has been working together with state and federal organizations, such as ARM (Advanced Robotics in Manufacturing) and the OMA (Ohio Manufacturers Association), that are bringing together industrial companies, colleges, workforce development boards and others to agree on the needs of Industry 4.0 training.

Below are five points that were widely viewed as of the highest importance.

Before we jump in, a preliminary comment: Many vendors use ‘Industry 4.0’ as a marketing gimmick. Adding the words ‘industry 4.0’ to the name of a product or curriculum, does not make it relevant per se. We recommend you make sure that the program you adopt is more than a buzzword and is backed by a widely recognized body such as ARM or OMA.

Here are the must haves:

  1. Industry Grade: if you are going to learn and be certified, you might as well do it on the real thing. This does not mean you cannot use educational tools and simulations when you start learning. However, as you reach the level when you are looking to become proficient and get certified, you need to have experience on the equipment you will see in industry. At Intelitek, in the robotics field, we offer a fundamentals level with the ER4U (a low-cost educational robot). We then advance to a Yaskawa simulation and curriculum package. Finally, we work with the Yaskawa certification cart, where students will need to demonstrate they can operate and program an actual industrial robot from Yaskawa.
  2. Sustainability: for a program to be successful in the medium and long term it must be sustainable. Many programs are started by a teacher that comes from industry and has a great sense of how to teach and what needs to be taught. What happens when that teacher retires or goes back to industry? There are two main elements that support the sustainability of a long-term program. The first is a curriculum. Every teacher needs to have a curriculum that covers the entire program. Some will not use it at all, others will rely on it heavily and some will have the students work through it on their own. In all these cases, the curriculum is there as a backbone, to sustain the program. The second element is to have a train the trainer program. Your curriculum and certification vendor should be able to help sustain the program so if you have a new teacher and need to get them trained to certify students – you are able to simply make a call and schedule a date. Anything else – means you are in trouble.
  3. Flexibility: we are in a challenging era. New technologies are being adopted at a much faster pace. Baby boomers are retiring and Industry needs employees today. Incumbent employees need to retrain on newer technologies in order to stay relevant or advance. This means that your program needs to address all tiers of experience and different time frames that students have to study. Allowing a student to gain certain credits on fundamental skills, go to work and continue their studies as part of an apprenticeship program – will allow the student to continue progressing and allow your program to remain relevant.
  4. Interoperability: Industry 4.0 is based on the interoperability of different systems. If your program does not address problem solving that combines different disciplines such as electrical, mechatronics, robotics, vision, automation, networking and cloud computing – you are not teaching Industry 4.0 comprehensively. The big jump in Industry 4.0 is in the understanding that every component of the manufacturing line is now connected. We can have these components communicate with each other and generate data that will enable us to look at making the production more efficient and competitive. So multi-discipline training, interoperability and integration of technology is key!
  5. Hands On: No training program can prepare a student for a job in industry unless the students experience significant hands on activity. If a student is certified without any lab activity – how will that help the employer. With integration becoming a more important requirement, the hands-on activities need to be cross-discipline. Students need to be able to deal with Industry 4.0 technologies, but also be trained on existing technologies and how they interact.

At Intelitek, we have developed a Smart Factory and Industry 4.0 trainer that requires students to work through the different disciplines and then integrate electrical, mechanical, pneumatics, robots, plc automation, machine vision, IP networking, and more. This is a factory that uses real industrial equipment that the students build from scratch, integrate, program, troubleshoot and maintain. A powerful learning experience that fully trains them on industry 4.0.

Resources:

JobMaster Industry 4.0 Manufacturing Cell

JobMaster FMS – Flexible Manufacturing System

Contact us for more information on our Industry 4.0 programs.

 

 

 


Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 in Ohio. An Interview with Ritch Ramey of RAMTEC

Interview with RAMTEC Ohio Coordinator, Ritch Ramey, about manufacturing in Ohio, the skills gap, RAMTEC and Industry 4.0
We are excited to have Ritch Ramey as a guest on our Industry 4.0 Blog. Ritch is the state coordinator for RAMTEC Ohio. He is responsible for the advancement of the 22 statewide RAMTEC Ohio Robotics, Machining and Automation centers. Ritch has been instructing students in the CTE space for over 30 years.

How important is manufacturing for Ohio?
According to the National Manufacturer’s association manufacturers in Ohio account for 16.63% of the total output in the state, employing 12.56% of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing was $107.95 billion in 2017. In addition, there were an average of 699.06 thousand manufacturing employees in Ohio in 2018, with an average annual compensation of $74,679.97 in 2017.
The Ohio leadership, led by Lieutenant Governor Husted, is placing significant emphasis on maintaining Ohio’s position as a front runner in manufacturing across the US, as well as in adoption and implementation of new technologies in manufacturing and investment in workforce development.

How acute is the skills gap?
Different reports that I have read show that in 2018 approximately 700,000 jobs openings in manufacturing across the US were not filled due to lack of skilled applicants. Speaking with employers in Ohio, talent acquisition is one of their biggest challenges. They are faced with a competitive labor market, baby boomers that are retiring and a younger generation that has a perception issue about jobs in manufacturing. We must help solve the skills gap to enable our industries to grow.

How does the RAMTEC model address training and the skills gap?
RAMTEC was formed as a one-stop-shop to enable secondary, post-secondary and incumbent employees to get trained and certified on the most up to date technologies used in industry. Partnering with high schools, colleges and industry, the RAMTEC centers get a constant flow of trainees. As the RAMTEC training aligns with industry needs, the students that graduate our programs are in high demand.
RAMTEC has 22 centers across the state and uses industry grade equipment for its training. We work with industry partners such as Yaskawa, Parker, Lincoln, Mitsubishi, Universal, Miller, Haas, Mazak, Fanuc and Allen Bradley. Robotics and automation have become a key area in which industry lacked skilled employees. Together with our industry partners we developed programs that lead to certification which is recognized at the state level as credit for graduation.

How does Industry 4.0 affect the skills gap?
Industry 4.0 poses new challenges in training. We have been working with different organizations such as ARM (Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing) and the Ohio Manufacturers Association to map the skills for Industry 4.0. and define roles in the organization. As manufacturers will have to deal with many different systems such as electrical, mechanical, robots, vision, IIOT sensors, networks and data – the key requirement becomes interoperability and problem solving.
Industry is adjusting quickly to Industry 4.0 in order to stay competitive, and we will need to provide the training solutions that will suit both the fast movers, as well as organizations that will slowly shift to Industry 4.0.

Seeing how robotics and automation is becoming so dominant in industry, how does that change education, if at all?
My role is to promote, support and advocate for the advancement of K to Gray robotics, automation, and Industry 4.0 career pathways for all the citizens of Ohio. There is more that can be done in our education system to introduce technology to students at a younger age. Robotics, automation, and computational thinking are all a form of literacy that more of our graduates will need to master in order to become employable. Technology programs such as Vex, First, Cyber Robotics Coding Competition, Best, BattleBots, thenrc.org and Lego are mostly part of after school programs or of a CTE program.
We have recently partnered with companies such as Honda, Yaskawa and First Energy through grants to add after school Vex IQ elementary, competitions and library programs. We are also are working with the REC Foundation, Vex and ARM to develop a stronger Robotics and Automation pathway as well as micro-credentialing for K to 12 students. RAMTEC Ohio in collaboration with ARM, Ohio Manufacturing Association and Ohio TechNet is working on building an Industry 4.0 pathway and micro-credentialing program. Many other states and organizations as well as great educational and industry support companies like Intelitek are helping America better equip and enable students of all ages to become better prepared for the exciting and great paying careers that will be available to them though our world’s transformation into Industry 4.0. We are excited to also be working with major robotic and automation companies to build state of the art training and delivery systems for students, instructors and industry. These new training programs will better engage the trainer and the trainee as well as delivery JIT training.
We look forward to what RAMTEC Ohio and the nation is developing to build a transformative training program.


Industry 4.0, The Skills Currency, Micro-Credentials and Jobs in Industry

Many have written about the threat of robots and automation to jobs in industry.  The truth is quite the opposite. Automation and Industry 4.0 present an opportunity that is giving rise to what is referred to as the ‘skills currency’.

As technology is transforming industry, firms are changing the way in which they are hiring talent. Technological skills and employability skills (sometimes referred to as soft skills) are becoming the professional currency with which applicants are being evaluated.

When evaluating the needs of businesses adopting Industry 4.0 – this new hiring paradigm becomes very clear and logical.

The shift from ‘Industry 3.0’ to Industry 4.0 involves the connectivity of the machines, sensors, motors and PLCs over a network. Industry 4.0 continues with collection of data which is critical to improving the efficiency of the operation, as well as actions that need to be taken because of the data analysis (e.g. preventative maintenance and optimization).

When looking at the required skill set for such an operation, siloed expertise in fields such as Programmable Ladder Logic or mechanical systems is not enough. The emphasis shifts to technological interoperability and problem-solving skills.

One of the challenges with the adoption of Industry 4.0 is the huge skills gap and lack of talent to fill in high level integrator positions in industry. This position will need to own all the automation as well as the network and data collection and analysis aspects – all of which become mission critical.

The good news is that companies like Intelitek are responding to this challenge in partnership with leading companies in Industry, in order to provide a comprehensive program that will enable training on three levels:

Industry 4.0 Training

Our programs are designed in a blended approach – so that students go through a curriculum that leads to hands on activities on physical trainers built with industrial equipment.

Intelitek programs lead to both micro-credentials for every subject area, as well as high level certification – at each of the levels described above.

Contact us for more information:


What is Industry 4.0?

New digital technology is transforming manufacturing as we know it. By integrating new technologies into the manufacturing processes, we are now able to gather and analyze data across the various components of the production line in real time – thus increasing efficiency and reducing the cost of production. This manufacturing revolution is referred to as Industry 4.0.

The new digital technologies associated with Industry 4.0 are the following:

Big Data:
The amount of data that can be collected from a production line is endless. Sensors, electricity consumption, inter-connected machines, enterprise software (ERP; MES) and customer software are just some of the sources of data that can be used to analyze efficiency. Big data will eventually enable development of AI in the manufacturing processes.

IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things):
More devices/parts in the production process will be embedded with computing capabilities. As parts are moving through assembly or logistics, they will communicate with a controller.

Vertically and Horizontally Integrated Networks:
With all the data flowing from sensors, machines, devices, as well as from other systems in the enterprise, the various networks will need to be integrated to enable optimization in decision making.

The Cloud:
Data sharing across the organization will require a robust cloud infrastructure through which access will be provided.

Cyber Security:
With critical parts of the manufacturing process relying heavily on data analysis, the ability to secure the data and to avoid cyber attacks that may lead to costly downtime – becomes a high priority.

Autonomous Robots:
Human-machine interaction is reaching new levels – with robots that can perform tasks autonomously, side by side with humans, in a safe working environment.

Simulation:
Testing and optimizing complex manufacturing processes and safety procedures – can be achieved through robust simulation tools that enable a quick and accurate modeling of the plant floor.
Augmented Reality:
Although still in their infancy, AR technologies enable an employee on the production floor to receive data and instructions on how to replace a certain part in a machine.

Additive Manufacturing:
Additive manufacturing enables a much simpler process of creating prototypes, fabricating spare parts, as well as customized batches of production.

Industry 4.0 has an immense impact on the competitiveness of manufacturing firms, as well as on the training of its workforce. Stay tuned to learn more in our upcoming blog.


Infographic: How education needs to keep up with Industry 4.0

Why Education 4.0?

Intelitek’s viewpoint on Education 4.0 is derived from a more familiar concept known as Industry 4.0. In the industrial context, this term describes the fact that society has experienced four industrial revolutions in the last 250 years. These revolutions have completely changed not only the world of industry but many aspects of community, the practical nature of the workforce, and the way we see living in modern times.

Education 4.0 defines today’s required schooling for being an active member of society and a valuable employee in the industrial workspace.

Even today during most learning sessions, students are required to sit quietly in class, have no interaction with their peers and listen to the single source of knowledge – the teacher. Education 4.0 involves collaboration with peers, guests, teachers and administrators. Education 4.0 environments must foster discussion and teamwork.

Intelitek learning environments are designed to duplicate other parts of societal development. We are inspired by Industry 4.0 and the development of transportations systems, healthcare systems, and much more. The fundamentals of Education 4.0 are:

  1. The learning path is tailor made
  2. We offer formative assessment
  3. Teachers become mentors
  4. Divergence and pluralism

 

Infographic for Industry 4.0_ver4-1


How to start a virtual coding boot camp in five easy steps

By Meredith Hoover – Originally posted in eschoolnews

coding

We’re building a love for STEM with virtual robotics and coding camps that get students excited; here are 5 steps to get your school going in the right direction

It never ceases to amaze me when I see a middle school student excelling at virtual robot simulations, a seventh grader using computer code to solve a STEM problem, or an eighth-grade robotics team brainstorming ideas and then developing a full-blown operating robot. Even these tiniest victories go a long way, with students getting hands-on with advanced technologies and then taking that experience to college and/or out into the workforce.

Challenged by budgetary constraints, time limitations, and the wide selection of new classroom technology that’s being thrown at them, K-12 districts aren’t in the best position to set up onsite robotics and coding classes for their students. To overcome these challenges, several West Virginia schools are leveraging a technology platform that’s completely online, and that’s helped them bring the fascinating world of robots to a wider band of students.

Here’s how you can do it too.

1. Find an internal champion to lead the cause. To think beyond basic K-12 curriculum and truly prepare students for today’s work world, you need a champion to get behind the cause. We found ours in Donna Burge-Tetrick, superintendent of Nicholas County (WV) Schools. She secured a grant from the West Virginia Department of Education to provide a robotics instructor to support teachers in robotics implementation. She has also continued to fund and support all aspects of our program, which is now growing steadily.

2. Pick products that complements your school’s current resources. We’re using CoderZ by Intelitek, a platform that is completely online with virtual robot simulations, thus reducing the need for robotics kits and pieces. This has helped us cut equipment expenses to a minimum and, even better, our teachers need no specialized training to teach robotics classes, which cuts the costs even more. This is particularly beneficial for districts that have been unable to establish or expand their own robotics programs.

3. Get teachers hands-on and on-board early. One of my biggest challenges is getting teachers on board, comfortable, and willing to take on the challenge of robotics and coding instruction. The program we selected is easy for teachers to put into practice because they don’t need any additional resources or expensive robots to implement it in their classrooms. I’ve used it with both middle schools in our county and not only did they both participate, but they also both went to the Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC) finals.

After the event, I spoke with the teachers and heard positive feedback from them. Now, they’re talking about getting robotics/coding classes for sixth grade for the upcoming school year. The CRCC helped pave the way for that because it was such a positive experience; teachers could see the success and wanted more.

4. Weave robotics and coding right into the school day. This not only levels the playing field for all students—including those who may not have Internet access at home—but it also encourages collaboration among students and creates an atmosphere of accountability. For example, students have dedicated class time to work on the coding/robotics program and are also given the links to access information if they want to continue working at home. And while in-class robotics is still a fairly new concept, it’s a great tool for overcoming truancy issues and for getting students to like school again. (We’re offering it at our Alternative Learning Center next year, in fact.)

5. Foster a love of STEM across the board. As technology continues to make its way into the workforce in all fields, being tech savvy and able to understand code are becoming “must haves” for graduates. Knowing this, teachers should be talking to students about potential careers that involve STEM, creating project-based experiences for them, integrating robotics into their standards-based lessons, and fostering a love of STEM for both girls and boys.

Our new online program has helped us achieve these goals, and now we have 4-H clubs across the county picking up robotics and offering it to their young members. It’s all about fostering the engineering and scientific fields, developing students’ abilities, and stoking their interest in these opportunities.

With more K-12 schools rising up to meet the STEM challenge, it’s a great time for all of us to embrace coding competitions, virtual robotics platforms, and other tools that are out there for the asking. The more we can do on this front, the more we can prepare students for success in school, in the workforce, and in life.


5 modern education myths debunked

By Ido Yerushalmi – Originally posted in eschoolnews

education-myths-500x400
Education 4.0 can have a profound impact on how instructors teach real-world skills, but these five myths are still holding them back from fully leveraging this new age of instruction

In the industrial setting, Industry 4.0 is a term that analysts use to describe the automation and data exchange that are used in manufacturing technologies, and this involves modern concepts like the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and other innovations. Cumulatively, these technologies are changing the face of manufacturing.

Much like a manufacturing firm needs a flexible production line in order to adapt to changes in demand and customer preferences, education must also be tailor-made in a way that truly prepares students for success. In order to effectively implement Education 4.0, these five myths will have to be debunked:

Myth #1: Students are just “empty vessels.”
During the second industrial revolution, many believed that a student’s brain is similar to a piece of raw material that is assembled from scratch into a perfect product. In fact, the brain was referred to as an empty vessel, a blank slate that teachers poured knowledge into. We assumed that students lacked knowledge, and the teacher filled their brains with knowledge—building the same knowledge structure for all students (i.e., constructivism).

But this isn’t true. Students have prior knowledge that is accumulated differently by each student. Knowledge is not created like an assembly-line product. Students must be encouraged to experiment and take on real-world problem solving to create more knowledge and understanding for themselves and then to reflect on and talk about their activities.

Myth #2: Students are passive recipients of information. 
Ten to 15 years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for a classroom of students to be sitting quietly, listening to a teacher lecture on a specific topic. Taking notes on that topic from a whiteboard or overhead projector, students were literally passive recipients of information (which they were later tested on).

In the Education 4.0 approach, the student transforms from being a passive recipient of information to an active participant in a personal learning process. Always guided by the teacher, students should construct their knowledge actively rather than just mechanically ingesting knowledge from the teacher or other online resources.

Myth #3: The definition of “basic knowledge” is the same as it always was.
There was once an approach that claimed that students should be given “basic knowledge” to use to build additional knowledge. The problem is that the definition of basic knowledge has never been updated and, as a result, is now irrelevant. Take math, for example. Elementary school students are still not allowed to use a calculator to work out simple sums, despite the fact that they all have access to calculators on their mobile devices.

Imagine taking this idea and extrapolating it into other areas. One example could be telling people they can’t use a cellular phone until they have used a landline for at least six years. It would be ridiculous, right? Well, the same goes for education: Education 4.0 realizes the basis for basic knowledge itself has changed.

Myth #4: Computers interfere with thinking. 
Educational systems assume computers interfere with their ability to encourage thinking. The truth is, students do not need to be trained to solve derivatives and integrals because computers can be programmed to do it much more efficiently than any student ever could. Not having to calculate should be seen as a strength because it saves time that could be used during math classes to discuss the practical applications that math can solve.

Similarly, traveling by cars or planes saves time and allows people to explore more distant places on earth. After all, no one is suggesting that we walk or take boats now that we have trains and planes to use as more efficient and effective means of travel.

Myth #5: Learning is an individual exercise. 
During most learning sessions, students were required to sit quietly in class, have no interaction with their peers, and listen to the single source of knowledge: the teacher. Because Education 4.0 involves collaboration with peers, guests, teachers, and administrators, the related environments foster discussion and teamwork.

By encouraging high levels of collaboration, open communication, and strong connections among students, teachers can more effectively prepare students for success in college, the workforce, and life as a whole.


CoderZ by Intelitek Wins Tech & Learning ‘Best of Show’ Award at ISTE 2018

CoderZ is an online platform teaching students fundamental coding and programming skills through fun virtual robotics

Derry, NH (July 2, 2018) – Intelitek today announced that its online coding and robotics program CoderZ, was named as a Best of Show winner by Tech & Learning at the 2018 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference and Expo.

iste18-bos

In its fifth year, Tech & Learning’s ISTE 2018 Best of Show awards highlight outstanding products exhibited at ISTE. Winners are selected by a panel of professional users and editors for having the greatest potential to be game changers in education technology. The judges rated their impressions on a sliding scale, evaluating areas such as quality and effectiveness, ease of use and creative use of technology. They then met in person to decide which technologies will have the most impact in the classroom and deserved to be named Best of Show.

“Once again, the ISTE show floor was inundated with edtech—from the latest in coding, robotics and makerspace gear to sophisticated upgrades in district-wide enterprise assessment software,” said Tech & Learning’s Managing Director of Content, Kevin Hogan. “And once again, our expert panel of judges kicked the tires. It’s a yeoman’s task and we take it seriously in selecting these companies and their products.”

CoderZ is a powerful, easy to use online platform that teaches students in grades 6-12 valuable STEM skills that prepare them for college and careers such as coding, robotics and physical computing. Through a fun interface with virtual robots controlled by the user, students learn a simple, Scratch-like language called Blockly for new coders or start working directly with Java code if they already have coding experience.

Accessible online from the classroom or at home, CoderZ puts the world of coding and robotics in the hands of every student anywhere they have an Internet connection. Students receive immediate feedback for their work with the integrated online simulator, which allows students to test code and experiment with virtual robots.

For educators, CoderZ integrates an engaging curriculum and learning management including project submission and grading, class and student statistics, video tutorials, and more.

“For more than 35 years, Intelitek has been transforming education and bringing STEM programs into classrooms across the globe through comprehensive technology learning solutions,” said Ido Yerushalmi, CEO of Intelitek. “We’re pleased to have been recognized for this award and selected as one of the top products at ISTE this year.”

ISTE 2018 Best of Show winners will be highlighted in the August 2018 issue of Tech & Learning. A full list of winners recognized at ISTE can be found at https://www.techlearning.com/ed-tech-ticker/t-l-announces-iste-best-of-show-winners.

For more information about Intelitek and its product offerings, please visit www.intelitek.com and www.gocoderz.com.

About Intelitek

Intelitek’s innovative tools and technologies empower instructors and inspire students to improve the world around them. The Company’s sustainable support and professional development ensure the continued success of educational programs. By helping deliver the competencies needed for in-demand careers, Intelitek is producing results for students, teachers, nations, and economies.

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Six Ways to Get Your School on the Education 4.0 Train

EdFutures

This Guest Blog was originally published on Education Weeks Education Futures Channel on June 7, 2018 – See article here

By Ido Yerushalmi, CEO of Intelitek.

Seeing gaps between what you’re teaching and what your students need to be able to compete effectively in the modern workforce? Here’s how to close them.

We have experienced four industrial revolutions in the last 250 years. These revolutions have completely changed the industrial world, but also many aspects of the community, the practical nature of the workforce, and the way we live in modern times.

In the educational world, the change has not happened as quickly and at Intelitek we have implemented an approach – Education 4.0 – that aligns modern learning with modern industry. Education 4.0 is having a similar, profound impact on how instructors teach and how students learn. Put simply, it defines “what it takes” to cultivate active members of society and employees who can play a valuable role in the new industrial workspace.

The rapid change in industry has caused the misalignment between what industry needs in this respect and the skills students graduate with. The educational path taken in many schools and classrooms today–isn’t always perfect. In fact, there are some clear gaps, as evidenced by the lack of qualified, skilled workers in the current (and emerging) labor pool.

Here are six ways to close those gaps and get your school on the Education 4.0 train today:

  1. Create a tailor-made learning path. Design a personal learning path that suits each student’s strengths and interests. This will allow them to build knowledge based on their individual previous knowledge or experience, and on their acceptance of the new information. Solutions should never force all students to learn the same thing at the same time and at the same pace.
  2. Leverage formative assessments. This will enable educational staff to help students identify their own strengths and also pinpoint their own weaknesses. A formative assessment is focused on helping the student accept and learn the new information and does not classify students based on test results.
  3. Transform teachers into mentors. Teachers must be trained on the fine points of building new curriculum and offering every one of their students a personal journey. They should be expected not to lead, but rather to support learning. For example, teachers must be able to use their own vast knowledge to assist students in a mentoring capacity during their own personal journeys.
  4. Embrace divergence and pluralism. Students are not the same and they are also not expected to be the same. The role of the education system is to help students identify the field in which they are suited and help them to excel at it. When teachers find their areas of aptitude, it gives the students a better chance to serve their society as adults.
  5. Stop equating education with knowledge acquisition. Education–not knowledge transfer–should be every school’s goal. Today’s schools will determine the development of society in the future. And while no one can predict the future, the universal values of doing good, accepting others, and collaborating with them will always be essential. This will hold true even when the graduates of today’s education system take on the societal roles of tomorrow.
  6. Put teachers at the heart of Education 4.0. Contrary to other beliefs, no one really wants to replace teachers with robots. In fact, teachers and mentors should be one and the same, and should shepherd students to success in the work world and in life. Design programs for teacher training, give them pedagogic tools, and provide them with a support structure that improves the relationship between the teacher and the student, enabling the former to interact more effectively. And remember that technology is there to serve teachers, allowing them to be even more effective instructors in the long run.

Education

Existing Paradigms in Education

The world is constantly shifting and changing, introducing new generations of people who grow up, leave school and enter the workforce. And yet education has largely remained the same for more than 100 years.

At Intelitek, we turn many of the existing beliefs about education on their head, revitalizing the educational system for the students of today. We encourage schools and educational institutions to revisit many of the incorrect paradigms which are standing in the way of building a strong workforce for tomorrow.

Education Paradigms

Existing Paradigm #1: Students are a Blank Slate

Historically, a student’s brain was considered a blank slate, similar to a car chassis at the beginning of a production cycle. Educators used to refer to each new student as an empty container, ready to receive an outpouring of knowledge from the teacher. We now know that this is not the case.

All students do not start out the same, and none of them are blank slates. All students have prior knowledge, and this varies from person to person. Educators need to be able to teach each student as an individual, becoming mentors, and enabling students to reconcile what they are learning with their own existing understanding of the world. In the right environment, students will learn “how to learn” and be transformed from being a passive recipient of knowledge, to being active in their own learning.

Shift in Paradigm: Knowledge is a Personal Activity

How to Achieve This:

  • Tailor-made learning paths – no two students are forced to learn the same thing
  • Students should be encouraged to find their unique area of success and aptitude with the help of formative assessments.
  • Focus on real-world problem-solving skills with reflection on student’s studies and activities
  • Encourage students to hypothesize and experiment

Existing Paradigm #2: Computers Interfere with Thinking

You only have to look at the attitude to calculators to understand the negative view of computers in the education system. Rather than be seen as a tool to master and use to succeed, many believe that technology hinders thinking skills.

The truth is, that students don’t need to learn how to solve the same problems that computers can do, as they will never beat the efficiency and accuracy of machines. Instead, computers can be used to help us sharpen our thinking and create opportunities for active learning.

Shift in Paradigm: Learning to Master Technology Can Open Doors for Tomorrow’s Workforce

How to Achieve This:

  • Create curricula emphasizing STEM subjects for a more technologically able workforce
  • Make technology, coding and robotics accessible for the 99% of students who cannot currently access it
  • Utilize the Connected Computing revolution to allow for distance learning and virtual robotics.

Existing Paradigm #3: Learning Occurs Individually and Teachers should take the Lead

Even today, knowledge is given and received in silos, again mirroring what we saw in the age of production lines. Teachers are just that – supervisors made for giving over knowledge, and do not encourage questions or the adapting of their information. Students are expected to sit quietly and take in information, without interaction with their peers, or collaboration with other students or guests.

Shift in Paradigm: Teachers are Mentors, and no Student is an Island

How to Achieve This:

  • Foster discussion and teamwork amongst students.
  • Create constructive competition to encourage success.
  • Discourage the idea of the teacher as the ‘single source of knowledge’.
  • Train teachers to build new curriculum from scratch, offering students a personal journey.
  • Move away from replacing teachers with computers. Rather, teach instructors to be mentors, giving them a vital place in supporting their student’s education.

 

Existing Paradigm #4: Knowledge is the Goal of Education

Our schools are determining the workforce of tomorrow, and currently many of them revolve around curricula that focus on the transfer of knowledge rather than education. Intelligences vary from student to student, and all will have their roles in society once education is over.

Taking the time to identify which students have which intelligences can be key for success. There are many examples. Some might have Verbal intelligence – suited for presenting ideas and thoughts, or Intrapersonal intelligence for people skills. Visual intelligence is suited to thinking in three dimensions. Becoming familiar with recognizing these skills is essential.

Shift in Paradigm: Knowledge Acquisition does not define Education

How to Achieve This:

  • Recognize that students have multiple intelligences, and work to foster these.
  • Teach lifelong learning skills.
  • Don’t forget soft skills. Confidence, collaboration and creativity are all essential in the workforce.
  • Use technology to give teachers the pedagogic skills to do more than transfer knowledge.

When we treat today’s students with yesterdays educational paradigms, we are doing them a disservice. As educators and institutions, we have a responsibility to constantly revisit and redefine education to make sure we are providing the best standard of learning possible. This includes looking back at the incorrect assumptions we have made in the past, not only about how we teach, but also about how students learn.

Read more about Education 4.0 by downloading this white paper from Intelitek.


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