Survival Skills in This Competitive World: For Teachers and Students

Survival Skills in This Competitive World: For Teachers and Students

The new world is getting tougher and more competitive. Technology seems to be getting more advanced by the day. Values and cultures are changing in every country and society. Parents of children, irrespective of their ages, often worry about their future. A decade and a half back, mobiles were a very rare sight. Today, one sees practically every teen and quite a few preteens holding a mobile and wearing ear plugs. As a new generation comes of age and progresses towards adulthood with new rules, mannerisms and expectations, the world around them is changing rapidly.

Parents, guardians and teachers have the important responsibility of guiding them to emerge as thoughtful, sincere, empathetic and respectful citizens. Those in charge of bringing up this generation and inculcating the right values often wonder how they can best prepare them to survive and thrive in an increasingly multicultural and tech savvy world.

The Most Tech Savvy Generation of All Times:

A survey was conducted by Wikipedia among more than 1,200 teenagers. Its findings revealed that this generation will bring a far higher level of technological connectivity experience compared to any previous generation. The survey went on to state that this generation is spending a large share of their waking hours connected to a mobile, computer or other electronic devices. They find it easy to adapt to this rapidly advancing media landscape. David McCafferty published an article last April, which demonstrated these figures:

  • 60% of the new generation share knowledge through the Internet and thus, collaborate with people around the world
  • 64% add information and their own knowledge in websites
  • 76% use online information to accomplish their career goals
  • 66% feel technology empowers them

The Negatives Aspects of Advanced Technology:

While technology has multiple advantages, it is not without its share of disadvantages. This generation is well equipped with sharing ideas, information and knowledge in the virtual world, but finds it difficult to do the same in the real world.

Some soft skills that employers seek in their potential employees might be lacking in this new generation. As most examinations have multiple choice answers, some students might lack the ability to extensively comprehend and explain a topic. Increasing stress and competition has also robbed many of their intellectual curiosity.

Educators should Teach Children Essential Survival Skills:

Tony Wagner mentioned seven essential skills, which are critical for survival. These include:

  • Problem solving and critical thinking skills
  • Ability to collaborate and lead by Influence
  • Ability to be adaptable and agile
  • Ability to display initiative and entrepreneurial skills
  • Good communication skills — both oral and written
  • Ability to analyze and access information
  • Ability to develop both imagination and curiosity

Educators should try to ensure that this generation possesses all these skills.

The new generation might hope for concrete answers in life, but they will need the skills to face uncertainty and unexpected results. The present global economy is uncertain and constantly in a state of flux. So, young professionals will need to be constantly on their toes. They also need to increase their tolerance for risk and be flexible enough to face changing conditions. While they may feel they have all the answers, they will often need the help of their seniors. They should learn to value the experience people of previous generations bring in and use it constructively to solve problems faced by them.


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