IFSU towards Education 4.0

The Charter Day Celebration, simultaneously observed with the 99th Founding Anniversary, aptly bannered the theme “IFSU @ 10: Education 4.0”. Today's buzzword in the academe is contextualized in the 21st century and Generation Z (Gen Z) learners.

Education 4.0 is a response to the challenges brought by the 4th Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) to align the human needs with the advancement of technologies (International Journal of Education & Literacy Studies, 2018).

IR4.0 is the time when a network of machines can now share and create information without human interaction. Think artificial intelligence, robotics, and the internet. Its impacts do not stop with business and politics.

It rules education too; hence, the school of thought - Education 4.0.

It is then imperative for education institutions like IFSU to reboot and upgrade in order to effectively attend to the specific needs of the youths today. We understand our brouhahas towards upgrading our instructional materials because of limited resources. For instance, not all teachers have high-tech computers to create engaging audio-visual materials nor Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera to acquire a quality photo or video.

The world evolves at a fast pace even if we wanted it to slow down so we can work on our uncertainties and waterloos. We should always remember that we work in the academe and we help the youths build and realize their dreams. We should never allow then that our education design be irrelevant to the digital-driven world. Our graduates should never lack the skills needed for this century, lest they will find difficulty in employment in a highly-globalized world of works.

On the other hand, IFSU now caters to a generation that does not know a me where there is no computer and smartphone, the Gen Z or internet Generation (iGen). The oldest Gen Z is in his/her fourth-year level now which means the academe is way past with millennial students. But, are we still using the same instructional materials we are extremely convenient with five or more years back? If this is true, then the hullabaloos from our Gen Z students about their teachers’ backward teaching styles are justified.

Generation Z students are not to be blamed for having a brief attention span. They are born in a hyperconnected era where information is packaged in small chunks and delivered in the most appealing forms i.e. TV and YouTube infotainment materials.

The human resources especially learning facilitators need to review their knowledge-sharing strategies. The paradigm shift from traditional towards meaningful digital teaching-learning methods will take time. But, we need to start rebooting now through advanced digital-focused professional development.

Education 4.0 did not only bring a challenge. It brought endless possibilities. It carried information to our fingers ps. It devolved power earlier monopolized by those who can only afford education. It connects us to the world. More importantly, Education 4.0 connects teachers or facilitators for this matter, to the current generation of learners - the digital natives.

It is time we welcome our students in our physical and online classrooms through the book they are most familiar with – the social media. It is time we touch them with our dear messages we tirelessly speak to them every day, but are often unheard, through the power of moving pictures, and other digital tools.