Challenges and Opportunities: Can Technology Help in Acquiring 21st Century Skills?

Each problem is unique and one must be able to find solution that optimally fits to that unique situation. There is no one solution which is best to solve a problem. You must be persistent to solve problems on a continuous basis until desired result is obtained. Scarcity of information is not a problem but abundance information is rather a big challenge. The current age is full of information accessible on public platforms, big challenge is to recognize and extract relevant and reliable information from the information ocean. The next level challenge in this endeavor is to identify real life problems, the application information, and to solve them efficiently and effectively. Learning is a lifelong process. You have to improve your skills on a continuous basis. Without mastering ability to learn new skills, one will become irrelevant. Technology guides you but it also misguides you. It is your ability to judge veracity, relevance, reliability and usefulness of information to churn out the right information. The information carry value only if you can use information for positive value addition. Information per se is not important unless you use it. Thus, application of knowledge is important. The current age demands you to acquire information, identify problem, churn out relevance of information and apply to solve a problem. You have to initiate the whole process so as to solve problem.

Twenty-first-century learning means that employee master content while producing, synthesizing, and evaluating information from a wide variety of subjects and sources with an understanding of and respect for diverse cultures. The pillar of success in the 21st century is about knowing how to learn. The learning now will ultimately be “learner-driven.” The century learning builds upon such past conceptions of learning as “core knowledge in subject areas” and recasts them for today’s world, where a global perspective and collaboration skills are dynamic, critical and focused. It’s no longer enough to “know things.” It’s even more important to stay curious about finding out things. We have powerful learning tools at our disposal that allow us to locate, acquire, and even create knowledge much more quickly than our predecessors. Ability to recognize and acquire skills to fit in ever-changing environments is sine-qua-non. No one will tell you what skills are required and the way to acquire it. The self-management is the key to succeed in 21st century.
Future skill need of industry, trade and commerce
o Learning skills
o Literacy skills
o Life skills
o Critical thinking
o Creativity
o Collaboration
o Communication
o Information literacy
o Flexibility
o Leadership
o Initiative
o Productivity
o Social skills
o Problem solving
o Dynamism
o Adaptability
o Flexibility
o Learn, De-learn, Re-learn
o Social responsibility and ethics
Literature review of future skills and forecast
Complexity of modern business
o Globalization and multi culture
o Liberalization
o Technology invasion
o Paradigm shift in social and psychological character of workforce
o Cost cutting, flat organization and modern management techniques

Can employer, academia, industry and government provide learning platform?
Self-learning is the key for employee to cope up with industry needs and to remain marketable.

Technology is sine-qua-non for self-learning
Current and future technology e-learning tools
o Fuzzy logic
o Augmented reality
o Artificial intelligence
o Data mining
o Simulation

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