Jen Brown

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Preparing Children for Acceleration

Posted: Monday, August 28, 2017

Due to advances in technology, much of our day involves the inundation of information. Whether through social media, mobile technology or personal interactions, we are asked to take in, process, interpret and draw conclusions about what we hear, see or experience at a relentless pace. We are living at a time where information is doubling at an unprecedented rate; some research suggests that knowledge is doubling every 12 hours. At this accelerated rate, how do we parent, educate or prepare our children for a world changing every 12 hours? I have stated as an educational leader many times that we are preparing children for jobs that don’t yet exist. I am also parenting three amazing children for challenges they will confront in a world undefined and increasingly more complex. It is easy to get lost in the oversimplified answers to these questions found on Facebook, Twitter or the sideline conversations at a youth sporting event.  I do not know the answers to these questions, but I do know that there is no single, simple answer. As we make decisions about educating children in a time of acceleration or parenting our children so they are prepared socially and emotionally for a changing world, we need to focus less on knowledge and more on building skills.

Knowledge may be doubling, but we need to be cautious that our skills are not declining as a result. For example, our children are less proficient in face to face communication, reading body language, conflict resolution or the art of compromise.  Preparing children for an age of acceleration requires us to assure that they have the skills that will empower them to listen and consume information critically, be open-minded and flexible so they are resilient and able to change with the world around them, work as part of a team,  create and think critically finding innovative solutions to current problems and be socially active seeking ways to contribute to the greater good.

I am excited to see this new generation of accelerated thinkers, doers and problem solvers. Our futures depend on their success.