It’s 2015 – the “future” that Back to the Future dreamed about almost 30 years ago. While we don’t have hover boards or self-lacing tennis shoes, we have made some important advances – especially in the classroom. No class has changed more over the last 30 years than Career and Technical Education.
In 1985, Career and Technical Education would have been known as “wood shop” or “metals” or “shop class.” In 2015, CTE classrooms have taken a decidedly different spin – and are a vital part of today’s education. So, what will CTE education look like in the next 30 years?
Emphasis on Technology
In the next 30 years, CTE will rely more heavily on technology – whether computer coding, robotics, or drafting work, technology will play a significant role in technical education. Hands on will always be important, but the way we deliver hands on education are changing today. In 30 years, we will rely more on 3D virtual reality for our education, where students will be able to learn a wider variety of subjects with a single piece of technology. (The future is closer than we think - check out zSpace for next level technology!)
In the next 30 years, 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) will be more prominent when designing and developing new models. Students will be familiar with computer design, and have a greater understanding of how math and visual design work together in the design process. Educators will place a greater emphasis on building knowledge and skills early. In the future, math skills will not only be taught in math class, but taught in the CTE wing as well. As a result, students will have a greater understanding of the hands on applications of math (and other STEM subjects).
A Greater Umbrella
Gone are the days when “CTE” refers only to wood shop. As Career and Technical Education transforms, so do the classes in the CTE wing: CTE can refer to computer programming, to welding, to Business and Marketing, Family and Consumer Science, or Renewable Energy education. In the future, CTE will take on a greater emphasis in career planning and education, making education more customized and efficient for all students. Many schools are already encouraging students to take classes in the CTE wing because it encourages K-12 students to prepare for careers after high school.
Through the Test of Time
Some technologies are tried and true – and the skills will always be relevant. Skills like welding, laser cutting and engraving, and industrial certification training will stand the test of time. These skills will remain relevant, even though techniques will evolve as the need for these skills changes.
Do you need help bringing your CTE programs into the future? Are you looking for ideas to bring your current program into the 21st Century? Our Secondary Education Specialist is here to help – Contact Dan Sorenson for tools and ideas.
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