Principal Stacey Duchrow on Preparing Students for an AI-Driven Future: Insights from the KABA Event

Published On: December 8th, 2023
406588689 346661837967170 7190945453002639231 N

I was thrilled to spend time with the Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA) and learn from local thought leaders in Generative AI. I was in awe of the disruptions that await our students as technology advances. Our students are facing a digital wave of data and automation that hasn’t been seen before and it is moving at a rapid pace. Generative AI is poised to revolutionize the future career landscape for high school students in numerous ways. Starting in the classroom, it will significantly augment the learning experience by providing personalized educational content tailored to individual learning styles and needs. Students will have access to tools that adapt information in real-time, fostering deeper comprehension and mastery of subjects. Students will need to learn skills that will help them navigate having an influx of information at their fingertips to solve everyday problems.

As these students progress into the workforce, generative AI will reshape industries across the board. It will automate routine tasks, freeing up time for creative problem-solving and innovation. High school graduates entering almost every profession will find themselves collaborating with AI-powered tools and systems, requiring a new set of skills focused on understanding, managing, and leveraging these technologies. It is imperative for educators to know and identify the skills needed to best prepare our students for this new landscape. Since these jobs and their skills are not yet defined, it is more important than ever to go beyond STEM education; for students to have a foundational knowledge of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things as each student will be impacted.

By incorporating industry-identified foundational skills, KTEC High School is ensuring all students have a solid foundation to approach this new reality. Each of our partners, such as Snap-On, Festo, NC3, Coder Z, and Gateway Technical College have worked hard to ensure these skills are embedded throughout our curriculum as they acknowledge their importance as career and technical education changes. NC3 certifications embedded in all KTEC High School curriculum ensure our students have a toolbox full of relevant skills for their future success in this new automated, high-skill landscape. Our carefully crafted curriculum ensures all students have skills in data analytics, electricity, mechatronics, digital art, maker culture, and python which are necessary to ensure future success in an AI world.

Snap-on Logo
NC3 Logo
CoderZ Logo
Gateway Technical College Logo

I was struck by the need to change our idea of STEM and STEAM to STEAME (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, and Ethics). With infinite knowledge at their fingertips by using AI tools, students will need to have a strong understanding of ethics to ensure their work remains in the best interest of society or the collective. Our C3 class has a curriculum designed to be intentional in teaching our students future ready skills such as emotional intelligence, judgment, leadership, and cognitive flexibility. This will ensure they are ready to make important and ethical decisions in their future careers. As students utilize these skills, they will be ready for new careers in fields like AI ethics, data privacy, and algorithmic governance.

Generative AI will redefine the nature of careers, demanding adaptable skill sets and an understanding of AI’s role in all industries. Today we learned that education traditionally has been shaped like the letter T. Students have a broad knowledge of various contents, but a deep knowledge in a specialized area or pathway. Now students need to think of their educational path as more a 𝜋 shape. Students will still need a broad knowledge of a variety of contents and deep knowledge in a specialized pathway, but they will also need a deep understanding of AI and automation as it will impact every industry. A singular career pathway will not allow students to build the interconnected, transferable skills necessary for high skilled careers. By having foundational knowledge and industry awareness gained in their first two years, KTEC High school students will be uniquely prepared to move beyond isolated knowledge of one industry sector/pathway and broaden their employability by having a strong foundation in AI and automation which will impact their future roles.

KTEC C3 Principles

I left the KABA event feeling excited that our curriculum, influenced by our industry partners, is meeting this call made by our presenter. As I reflected on today, I know our KTEC High school students are ready to embrace the influx of technology and the new world generative AI will create for them. They will use those tools they have learned in class and positively impact the world.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Related Articles