How much time did you spend filling in tiny bubbles on standardized tests? And how much of that time did you think, “this is pointless?” It’s no secret the educational system has some… issues. Right now, how smart we are is not measured in a very smart way: performance in school. That means grades and scores on those horrific tests. Rarely does this correlate with success after graduation, not to mention measure actual intelligence.
AI vs. Board of Education
Robots are sharp as whips, and they don’t even need sleep. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are taking the world by storm. Computers are clearly capable of automating so much of what we do. Robots have officially entered the workforce, and there’s no competing with the efficiency and consistency they promise. This means that the skills that students—and future employees—need to have to successfully find a job are changing quickly. In the age of AI, the definition of “smart” or “intelligent” will go through a metamorphosis in response to this computing power. We’ll need to focus on different ways for humans to add value to the society, other than just regurgitating information on tests.
Quality Over Quantity
The new smart will not be determined by how much your knowledge resembles an encyclopedia, but by your ability to think, listen, relate, collaborate, and learn. This shift will encourage us to finesse our cognitive and emotional skills. Maybe it’s trite to say, but robots just can’t love. Machines and automation can’t duplicate—or learn to duplicate—skills that involve something as subtle as human empathy. That’s great news for those of us who stay awake at night, wondering when bots will conquer the world: there are jobs out there that can’t be automated.
Robots Are Making Grades Obsolete
What we’re saying is, your college GPA doesn’t matter. But that’s probably not a new idea to you—it’s just a number, after all. So, what does matter? Creativity, for starters. The upcoming workforce needs to cultivate their abstract systems thinking and to hone their complex communication skills. Adaptability is key here, too. That means being able to thrive in a variety of diverse environments. Of course, this isn’t one-sided: businesses need to start actively seeking individuals with these strengths. It simply makes no sense to hire people who spent college drilling coursework for the sake of getting good grades.
Goodbye, Old School
Of course, there has to be some way to measure a student’s progression through college. And grades are an adequate indicator of that. But by no means should they be the end-all be-all of potential success. Standardized tests? Not even a question. It’s time to realize that there are things computers are good at, and a separate category of things that humans are good at. Making consistent pencil marks on multiple-choice exams? That’s robot work