In the age of artificial intelligence, technology has given us many online tools, apps, and robots to help us educate our children. But, as parents know, nothing beats one-on-one interaction between a parent and a child. Our children learn most effectively by social means. 

With the influx of technology, there’s one inherent problem in our current education system that seems to be amplified: flexibility

Our children never had the “flexibility” of education that can provide them with a tailored experience to fulfill their potential. We had camps, schools, after school activities, etc.. But now we have much more. 

Now, with the use of AI and robotics, we can tailor curriculums and provide personalized distance learning options. We can even provide therapeutic options for students with special needs. 

With an increase in flexible learning options, we are faced with too many choices while still grappling with the inflexible behemoth of our current public education system. 

Can a mixture of technology options and our public education system provide what our children will need to usher them into the age of artificial intelligence?Today In: AI

This is the question that many parents are asking. 

There’s no doubt that many parts of our public school education system needs to change. Educator Sir Ken Robinson, the author of Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education speaks about the way that we need to change our education system so that we can help our kids succeed in their future world. 

Our task is to educate their (our students) whole being so they can face the future. We may not see the future, but they will and our job is to help them make something of it. Ken Robinson 

Creativity is at the center of progress

The catch 22 in our current education system is the question of creativity. As technology advances, humans are put in a position of having to be more creative. At the same time, without creativity, our humanity doesn’t progress and our technology doesn’t progress either. 

Creativity is not just about creating artworks, making music, or writing poetry. 

Creativity underlies every single profession in our future of work.

With the help of an AI, every single one of us: teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, programmers, politicians, and shop keepers, etc.. will be making decisions about more complex problems. We will get to a point when an AI will be integrated into our work to help us become more efficient. The complex world will demand us — humans, to be that much more creative in our future of work. 

No, we don’t want to offload the best parts of us, such as creativity to an AI. 

This is why we must step up to the job. 

We’ve got to show our children how to step up to the job as well. 

We are educating people out of their creative capacities.. I believe this passionately, that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it. Ken Robinson 

More technology is not the whole solution, the whole solution is a mindset change

What does it mean to educate a creative child? The answer is not what we expect. Some of us who came out of the rigid system of education is not familiar with the concept of educating a creative child. 

This is when we need to shift our mindset. 

Educating a creative child can mean letting your child engage in messy play at the expense of cleaning up right away.

Educating a creative child can mean a focus on art and physical education as much as focusing on STEM subjects. 

Educating a creative child can mean that coaching a child is as important as teaching a child. 

This mindset shift of educating our children how we have always done it versus let’s find out how we can do better is an important one. 

Replace the complacency with action

Currently, many of us are struggling with the future of work. It’s tempting to put off our children’s education and just let the system take care of it. The truth is that complacency actually leads us to fear. Complacency in times of change leads us to a place where we fear for the future. 

The best way to deal with water is simply to float above the water and swim. 

Visualize change as the action of a wave. It may inundate you with emotions for a few weeks if the change is drastic. But, once you go through that, you can adapt by swimming in it and taking action.

We can all see the future of artificial intelligence. It’s not coming in tidal waves of months but rather years. Still, it’s there. We can see the wave coming up over the horizon.  

To deal with it effectively, burying comfort is the first step. Taking action to come up with a plan of action for our children will snap the fear at its source. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What does my child need? 
  • How can I help my child unleash their potential? 

Each one of us along with our children can cultivate their intelligence by walking alongside of them on their learning journey. 

Instead of teaching, how about facilitating opportunities for them to learn? 

Integrate your learning with your child’s

There’s no better time to learn with your child. Yes, we don’t know everything that there’s to know. If we admit that, then it’s that much easier to be empathetic toward your child’s learning path. Learning with your child means going on an exploration with your child. Both of you don’t know where you will end up. That’s what’s thrilling. 

Kobe Bryant taught his daughter to play basketball. 

Kris Jenner taught her children to run businesses. 

Maria Shriver taught her children to care about the world around them. 

In each of these cases, these parents are not just teaching their children about their own professions and values. They are increasing their own depth of knowledge by going on an educational journey with their children. 

The path of learning is failing over and over again

There’s nothing more powerful than the gut-wrenching feeling of failure. You feel humiliated. You can’t get up from your bed. You want to eat a tub of ice cream. Sometimes, even when you know that you gave it your all, you still feel terrible when things didn’t work out. 

If you are watching your child go through this process, you can feel worse. 

It’s tempting to show them how to do it so that they can avoid feeling like a failure. 

My question to you is that, would you rather have your child fail “young”, when no one is watching, or would you rather have your child fail as an adult when the world is watching? 

Failures are lessons that are hard-won. They are opportunities to imprint a set of values and experiences that will consistently remind your child of important lessons. 

In the end, your child will learn whether you are there or not. Your child’s learning process might start with your encouragement but it will carry on without you. 

How do you set them up for success? 

In the age of artificial intelligence, as parents, we are blessed to have so many tools available to design a flexible, tailored set of education for our children. We are empowered to work with teachers, and our community to set our children up for success in their future of work. If we simply shifted our mindset and took small steps to steer our everyday actions toward unleashing our children’s potential, the end result, in the next decade, is that our collective efforts have the power to change the world. Now, that’s something to look forward to.