Future of Education in Industry 4.0: Educational Digitization – A Canadian Case Study

Future of Education in Industry 4.0: Educational Digitization – A Canadian Case Study

Rania Mohy El Din Nafea, Esra Kilicarslan Toplu
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9416-1.ch015
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With the developments in technology and innovation, the manufacturing, workforce, training, and educational systems were affected. Facing the fourth industrial revolution, academics are researching the possible changes that might arise in education and skills of the future workforce. As the workplace develops, new competencies will surface. With this context in mind, the authors initiated this research. A detailed questionnaire was prepared as a pilot study to comprehend students' views on the use of technology in classrooms and its impact on their learning experience and engagement. Knowledge of their views allowed the authors to draw inferences as to the skills and competencies of future students and whether they would match Industry 4.0. Furthermore, a gap analysis was conducted, whereby the existing situation at a Canadian higher educational institution was compared to the desired situation, and recommendations were put forward.
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Industry 4.0

Developments in both technology and innovation are the main factors affecting industrial revolutions, and these revolutions have brought about significant changes in our way of working and living. Throughout history there have been three industrial revolutions and we are currently undergoing a transformation towards the fourth industrial revolution.

Industry 1.0 exchanged the human power with the power of steam. When James Watt introduced the steam engine in the 18th century, with the mechanization, production and the transportation systems transformed. Consequently, there was an important increase in productivity.

Industry 2.0 was caused by the electrical energy and the mass production about a hundred years later. When Henry Ford introduced the assembly line, with the mass production and the usage of electrical energy, there was a significant decrease in costs and a further increase in productivity.

Industry 3.0 was in the 1960s and came with the introduction and usage of computers, which introduced the world to a faster and more capable form of processing capability. This marked the beginning of the information technology era for industry.

Industry 4.0 refers to the next developmental stage in the manufacturing industry, and was first introduced by the initiative made by academics, industrials and the German Government. Its aim is ‘to strengthen the competitiveness of manufacturing industry in the country by computerization’ (Baena et al., 2017, p.74).

With this high-tech strategy, which converges the industrial production and information and communication technology (ICT), industry is going through a transformation to full digitization and intelligent production. In this concept, the Internet of Things (IoT), the ‘Industrial Internet’, ‘Cloud-based Manufacturing’ and ‘Smart Manufacturing’ are stated as the drivers of Industry 4.0 (Erol et al., 2016, p.13).

Hermann et al. (2016) defined Industry 4.0 as: “Industry 4.0 is a collective term for technologies and concepts of value chain organization.”He further explains that; within the smart factories of Industry 4.0, cyber physical systems (CPS)will monitor the processes, and make decisions while communicating and cooperating with other cyber physical systems and humans in real time. In addition, with the Internet of Services (IoS), both internal and cross organizational services will be utilized by participants of the value chain (Rossit et al., 2018, p.1).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Literacy: Is a student’s/employee’s ability to find, analyze, and present clear and concise information, either through writing or the use of technology tools.

Learning Management System (LMS): A technology tool launched within the last decade where students and teachers can communicate. The system is a logistical hub, allowing teachers to share notes, slides, and assignments, create tests, forums, and discussions with students.

Future Skills: Skills that Generation Y are expected to possess to ensure their employability. These constitute/are synonymous with essential employability skills.

Digital Dexterity: Is a student’s/employee’s ability and desire to use existing and emerging technologies for better business outcomes.

Essential Employability Skills (EES): These are skills compiled by the Canadian Ministry of Higher Education in Ontario. They include a list of 11 skills divided into 6 categories, which include numeracy, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, information management, interpersonal and personal skills.

VARK Learning Model: Research that postulates that students learn/absorb information in different ways including visual, auditory (listening), read-write, and kinesthetic (learning by doing).

Workplace Competencies: Key skills and attributes required to secure a position in the workplace. These may include technology skills, critical thinking, and analytical skills.

Technology in Education: The ability to use technology tools in education. These include, but are not limited to, Microsoft Office, simulation, ERP systems, wikis, discussion boards, forums, and learning management systems.

Future Workforce: Generation Y millennials that are expected to hit the workforce within the next decade. They are the technology-savvy graduates that will cause the industrial revolution 4.0.

Higher Education: Refers to post-secondary education. This is education following high school of grade 12 in several countries.

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