August 19, 2019

Facing The Problem Head On

Laurie Carey

Founder and Executive Director of Nebula Academy

Nebula Academy provides opportunities for professional development across a focus of Science, technology, Engineering, Arts and Math [STEAM], career concepts and computer science initiatives. Our focus is on providing young adult learners and educators with the right tools and concepts to understand technology and its role in complex careers. The growth resulting from innovation and new ways of working is creating gaps in skills for those within existing careers and those newly entering the professional sphere. Companies and individuals need to reskill themselves based on growth occurring in many industries and innovation at exponential rates. Technology is becoming more and more pervasive in our lives; as it does, it starts to disrupt the flow of our workday. All of us, at any stage in our emerging or existing careers, need to get a better understanding of technology, how it works and its limitations so that we can position ourselves long-term for the workforce. This requires a new mindset: You no longer have one job role or one employer for the rest of your life, and your job continuously changes because of how technology impacts your workday.

We ask the question, “How do you repurpose employees so that they can be positioned to perform tasks that are not necessarily able to be undertaken by computer technology?” This requires deeper thinking on our part and a different skillset. Today’s professionals – either high school or college students heading into the workforce, or those requiring continuing education to keep up-to-date on new technologies and methods of working, or educators who are training others on new skills – should have a growth mindset and be lifelong learners to ensure career success and growth.

Ironically, when we ask people if they know how to learn, the answer is usually “No”. Learning how to learn and to utilize the internet and technology to support career success is critical. We focus on helping individuals and companies to reskill and retool themselves and their teams. We help teachers understand how to rethink the classroom across both K-12 and higher education. We focus on building capacity to teach and learn using a new education model, one that leaves the lecture model behind and engages new skills in coaching and collaborative learning experiences. Our company is addressing these specific gaps by creating modern instructors who know, through neuroscience research, how people think and behave and how people use that information to create new and more effective teaching and learning opportunities for students. This is applicable in the classroom, both in person and virtually, using instructor-led models that are student-centric driven.

Nebula Academy is an educational disruptor. We demonstrate how training can be delivered differently. Ours is a more collaborative hands-on learning environment, and more specific and targeted in helping learners and educators to understand competencies, not just memorize them. People who memorize information do not solve big problems, but people who understand how to break down challenges and how technology works are the ones who will sustain and thrive in long-term career paths.

This evolution of education is taking shape as a result of the work we are doing. Our work is making an impact through our ongoing research assessments and through our partnerships in education that are seeing the same shifts and validating our direction. We can’t continue on the current path; if we keep teaching and learning on a traditional path, the workforce won’t be sustainable. Students won’t be able to embrace ever-changing careers because they wouldn’t have skills and resources for higher levels of computational thinking that are necessary for today’s workforce. Change is necessary, and Nebula Academy is prepared to take the bold steps necessary for that change.

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