Our new product launches have one thing in common – Adaptability
In this monthly blog series, “Adapting education to the future of work,” FYG’s CGO Susie Harrison will discuss trends she’s seeing in the education technology, career readiness and future of work sectors. We’re excited to launch this monthly series – stay tuned for more updates in this space.
At FYG, we always believe in having an adaptability mindset – the ability to better manage the impact of change and find solutions to unexpected events. From the onset of our journey, we’ve known there aren’t adequate guides for students to find the jobs, skills and lifestyles that are right for them, and that today, everyone needs to learn to adapt.
That has never been more true than in 2020.
Using an adaptability mindset, we’ve stayed nimble as the world has shifted – especially in the world of education. We’ve adapted to new environments, engaged new resources, forged new partnerships, and listened to our community as educators and students have been forced to shift amidst a global pandemic.
And after hundreds of hours of user testing, feedback sessions, trend forecasting and prototyping, we identified two opportunity areas to adapt – one, to better serve #MisfitEducators with distance-friendly resources, and second, to help pre-college students navigate an uncertain future. Both initiatives are launching this week as we all head back to school.At FYG, we always believe in having an adaptability mindset – the ability to better manage the impact of change and find solutions to unexpected events. From the onset of our journey, we’ve known there aren’t adequate guides for… Click To Tweet
A history lesson
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the FYG curriculum was built primarily for in-classroom learning — a teacher-facilitated environment in which students participate in activities and lessons together. While many elements of our curriculum were online, including our content library where students can explore careers, mentors and lifestyles, our current offering wasn’t meeting the needs of educators as they transitioned to distance learning.
We also knew providing a one-off video or a downloadable .pdf guide wasn’t going to meaningfully impact the classroom at this moment. We needed to adapt to best serve educators as the pandemic created the necessity for a distance learning solution.
Future Ready – a resource for educators
So, we created Future Ready – a virtual 8-week course launching this week – that adapts our in-classroom curriculum to the ‘new normal’. We took on the challenge of delivering dynamic and interactive content, even from a distance. While virtual learning has its disadvantages, it doesn’t have to lead to less interaction. Our adaptability mindset empowers us to deliver our core curriculum content in a completely new way, utilizing synchronous and asynchronous learning elements to create an authentic connection.
Data from the 2019-2020 School Year revealed that though remote learning was wildly different from school-to-school, one aspect was consistent across all experiences: lack of engagement. We also know there’s both science and art to keeping kids engaged, even from home, and that the shift to online left several teachers without effective strategies for creating community and forging individual connections.
Tapping into our digital toolkit, we’re leveraging the power of personalized video responses in order to create authentic engagement focused on self-discovery and career exploration. We’ve partnered with Flipgrid, Microsoft’s leading video discussion platform favored by millions of PreK to Ph.D. educators, designed to “empower every voice”, to create intentional conversations between teachers and students – even at a distance.
Now, our brand new Future Ready course uses this remote communication tool as a means to create intentional conversations between learners and educators regardless of where students are located.
Boost – a resource for pre-college students
Also launching this week is Boost by Kaplan, an innovative online program designed to help pre-college students learn more about high-demand careers and the skills needed to succeed in those careers. The launch of Boost comes at a time when students need more assurance in their next steps than ever before – as anxiety grows for Gen-Z around finding a career that they’re passionate about, landing opportunities that pay well, or choosing the right majors.
When I met with Kaplan Test Prep about a partnership in January, pre-global pandemic, I saw an opportunity to unite their expertise in preparing learners for the future with our intrinsic understanding of Gen Z’s desire for non-traditional paths.
I knew back then that there was a huge gap in resources for students navigating the future of work, and that gap has only expanded with the onset of the pandemic.
Now, as students start rebelling against paying full higher ed tuition for remote learning, we’re helping launch Boost to meet pre-college students where they’re at and prepare them for what’s next, even in a time of uncertainty.The need for an adaptability mindset will grow as the future of work accelerates. And for us at FYG, these initiatives are just the beginning. Click To Tweet
Adapting to learn, unlearn and relearn
At its core, adaptability requires us to assess new, evolving environments and abandon old ways of learning in order to relearn relevant skills we may have forgotten, unlearn skills that no longer serve us, and learn new ones needed to progress.
Just as we’ve adapted to bring these initiatives to life, FYG’s latest offerings will help students and educators adapt to their changing circumstances so they can face the unexpected head-on.
The need for an adaptability mindset will grow as the future of work accelerates. And for us at FYG, these initiatives are just the beginning. They won’t be perfect – anything new comes with ample learning opportunities – but any mistakes we make along the way won’t deter us from adapting to new challenges.
We’re here to use our skill sets and our collective adaptability mindset to create pathways that enable new modes of learning. Watch this space for our insights – both from successes as well as failures – as we continue to adapt. After all, as Alain de Botton said, “Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.”