Digitization has an impact on all aspects of life, from everyday life to the world of work. Learning will also change as part of the digital transformation. Central to this is the individual guidance of the individual: Students and pupils do not have the same starting conditions. They learn at different speeds and with different focus. They need guidance to improve their skills. Modern education systems must be able to cope with this mammoth task. The content is also constantly changing: Education 4.0 needs to be aligned with Industry 4.0 to give students the skills they need to be successful in the next industrial revolution. This article is devoted to explaining Education 4.0, its connection to digitization and Industry 4.0 and answers why the adaptation of the education system is so important.
What is Education 4.0?
Many sectors are responding to the Industry 4.0 trend, including the education sector. Educational models are being developed that are more digitally oriented and more competitive. This does not only apply to private training providers. The public sector is also affected, although it is more difficult to adapt. Education 4.0 is designed to enable students to fully realize their potential for future jobs and the demands of the industry. This includes improving learning, facilitating teacher-student interaction, and using new platforms and technologies to foster a learning community.
How can education be flexible and innovative enough for Industry 4.0?
Continuing education 4.0 is about changing the image and role of the teacher and adapting it to the future and new challenges. This means not only that the content of education is changing, but also that education itself is changing. Modern continuing education aims to encourage students to learn independently and to support them individually. This is not possible in traditional education because the teacher has to take care of many students or trainees. Modern technologies enable the teacher to act as a facilitator and track the learning process in a course using collaborative educational systems that allow everyone to learn at their own pace. As expected, this would immediately improve the students’ learning outcomes. School management systems will enable teachers to communicate more effectively with students and reduce administrative burden.
The core components of Continuing Education 4.0/Education 4.0 are network learning and cooperative education
These processes can help students become more motivated, confident, creative and individual. They also enable teachers to better understand the areas that need improvement, which in turn improves student learning. Education 4.0 will also help students develop the skills and confidence they need for a career in their chosen field. This is partly due to the corona pandemic. She has helped to re-evaluate existing education models to see if they meet the needs of future educators — such as making homeschooling a matter of course or using digital technologies in the classroom.
From industry 4.0 to further training 4.0
The education of tomorrow is a difficult challenge. It is about adapting to the changing labor market. The world of work is changing due to technological progress and globalization. This change requires new skills, especially in the digital field. There will be a lot of demand for IT specialists in the future. Prospective employees should be able to multitask and have a good understanding of technical systems. Many colleges, universities, and educational institutions have begun incorporating industry-specific curriculum areas into comprehensive programs that align with industry certifications.
Business and politics have long recognized the importance of preparing employees for work in Industry 4.0. Companies not only provide employment and stability, but also ensure their survival in the marketplace by training today’s workforce for tomorrow’s needs. For job seekers who do not have a company that supports them, the government has developed suitable models to encourage them to follow promising and suitable training courses, such as the work and internship voucher and the education voucher. The financial threshold for small businesses to train employees is also being eased by the state: micro-enterprises, for example, can be reimbursed up to 100% for the training costs of their employees.
Digitization or Industry 4.0 is only part of the industrial revolution
Digitization is partly responsible for changing the way we learn and teach. The fourth digital revolution changed education in general, but is ultimately only part of the bigger picture: in the last third of the 19th century, the steam engine was the first major industrial breakthrough. The second industrial revolution came about half a century later with mass production. The integration of electrical systems led to the third industrial revolution. Modern information technology, digital technologies and their impact on industry ushered in the fourth phase of industrialization. Education 4.0 is the answer of the education system. It is therefore inevitable that there will be a fifth industrial revolution. What this will look like is still unclear. Some believe it is primarily driven by biological progress. Some already see this as Industry 6.0 and instead believe that Industry 5.0 is the direct interaction of intelligent robots and manufacturing systems with humans. This can only be determined retrospectively.
Why not now?
The Industrial Revolution revolutionized industry a few years ago. Rapid technological progress has enabled the development of new methods and technologies in many fields, including education. Because education is most influenced by current technology, innovative pedagogical practices and best practices, this is the one area that has changed very little – 100 years ago, for example, students were taught in front of a chalkboard with chalk. At the latest with the fourth industrial revolution, in which flexibility and individuality are central, the education system must go along with it.
Institutions and educational institutions need to be prepared to respond to the changes in learning as the world becomes more connected. To achieve this, new technologies and learning methods must be integrated into educational activities. The aim is to train highly qualified professionals capable of solving the numerous challenges that are present and will be in the near future – from major crises such as climate change to special technologies or societal adaptation.