In March 2013, Amol Bhave a 17 year old student from Jabalpur, a small city in India, got admission into MIT because of his stellar performance on edX – MIT’s Massive Open Online Course or MOOC. Amol scored 97% in the free online course on Circuits and Electronics and then created his own course integrating videos, a grading platform and a syllabus – all of these inspired by the MOOC he had done on edX. This impressed Anant Agarwal, the CEO of edX who wrote a recommendation letter, which then got Amol a place at MIT. Amol is a great example of a self-directed learner who made the most of what technology-facilitated education has to offer today.
In contrast, we begin this learning module with fictitious Jiah’s story. The year is 2020. Jiah has just completed her radiology training and joined a hospital. Within just a few months of joining she learns that the hospital is getting an automated imaging and diagnostics system that might imply Jiah losing her job.
Even though Jiah has done a four year long knowledge intensive course, she losing her job to a computer is a very likely scenario because it is a reality today that any job that can be automated will be done better by machines and any task that can be reduced to an algorithm will be better done by computers. So what skills, competencies and dispositions will make you shine in the future?
Our story continues and we bring Jiah back to the present. The year is 2014 and Jiah is a 11th class student. She now understands that in the 19th and 20th century stockpiling knowledge in a domain, by getting a university degree usually ensured lifelong employability. But with knowledge exploding in almost every field, a University degree today at most ensures you your first job.
Jiah realises how the future is complex and uncertain. One skill she will definitely need, if she is to thrive in such a future, is the ability to self-direct her learning.
Flip through the slides below, watch a fascinating video ‘Humans Need Not Apply’, post your questions and observations in the comments section at the bottom of the page, or head to the Forum for deeper reflection.