The world is currently at the start of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – also called Industry 4.0 – which is described as the stage in our development when technology becomes embedded in every aspect of society. It involves ongoing interactions between people and technology that will redefine how we go about our everyday lives.
“You need only look at companies like Airbnb (hotel accommodation), Amazon (retail) and Uber (taxi services) to appreciate how swiftly Industry 4.0 is transforming the business world,” says Kirsty Chadwick, Group Chief Executive Officer at The Training Room Online (TTRO). Her organization is applying various new and emerging technologies to revolutionise the field of Human Capital Development with the end-goal being to upskill and empower people for the ‘now’ and for the future.
Chadwick warns that learners will not have the necessary competencies to thrive in an Industry 4.0 workplace unless radical changes are made to the current inflexible school curriculums. “We need to leverage the latest thinking in adaptive learning, artificial intelligence, game-based learning and both augmented and virtual reality to lift education methodologies to the next level – we must create an Education 4.0 or Learning 4.0 to match the fast pace of Industry 4.0,” she says.
TTRO is a market leader in the design and implementation of digital learning solutions to make learners and jobseekers ‘future fit’. Locally they are building digital platforms to help some of the Sectoral Education Training Authorities (SETAs) to digitize and facilitate SETA-accredited training. “We are also bringing systemic change through our partnership with the Department of Basic Education to introduce cloud-based digital access to the entire CAPS curriculum,” says Chadwick.
This platform will give children, parents and teachers equal opportunity to access content and uplift themselves. Teachers will not be replaced by digital learning solutions; but the role that they play in learner outcomes will evolve over time. Studies show, for example, that advances in the application of artificial intelligence can improve teachers’ performance with a consequent improvement in learner outcomes.
TTRO, which has offices in Cape Town (HQ), Johannesburg, Riyadh and Dubai, has also launched a Saudi Arabian-based project to upskill its citizens, create new jobs, new industry and promote the small medium enterprise development. Their ‘Innovation Center for Learning 4.0’ is a state-of-the-art digital learning hub comprising a combination of targeted, adaptive and practical training programmes to take individuals on a lifelong education journey.
“We are working towards a secure ‘now’ by ensuring that our existing education methodologies are implemented effectively – at the same time we cannot afford further delays in developing digital learning solutions that deliver skillsets for the future,” says Chadwick. She admits that identifying these skillsets is tricky due to the constantly changing workplace.