South China Morning Post recently hosted a panel discussion on the subject of integrating technology education into the classroom and preparing children for their life ahead. This discussion is moderated by Ms. Jennifer Ma, Chief Strategy Officer with CTF Education Group . The speakers on this panel include Ms. Elizabeth Trustrum, Western Co-Principal at the Yew Chung International School – Secondary , Ms. Teresa Tung, Secondary School Principal of Hong Kong Academy , and Ms. Terri Appel, Executive Director of Generations Christian Education . Fostering Children’s Listening Skills The world has changed significantly due to COVID and the increase in digital collaboration. Teachers and parents must consider if their students and children are appropriately prepared for this new reality. Many schools are now prioritizing children’s listening skills, which are considered essential for functioning effectively in the interconnected world. Ms. Terri Appel explained how her school, Generations Christian Education, prepared children to listen well. She said, “almost more than 25% of our English curriculum is around presentation and listening.” This helps students get real-life experience with essential languages and allows them to utilize technology in the process. Teachers Should Prioritize Skills Over Knowledge Another aspect of the new reality is that children have vast amounts of knowledge right at their fingertips. Teachers are no longer their only imparters of knowledge, and students often turn to their phones to learn something quickly. Instead, teachers must implement a skills-based framework to teach children about problem-solving and critical thinking. Ms. Elizabeth Trustrum explained how teachers need to work on developing young people’s skills instead of focusing only on knowledge. “We also need teachers who are trained to develop students in those global competencies of being able to research … to analyze, to think critically, to communicate, to collaborate so that they’re able to draw from that knowledge that just sits in their pocket.” Integrating Technology Learning Everywhere Recently, there has been a push for schools to add technology as a subject along with several other areas of learning. Ms. Terese Tung explained some potential problems with that mindset. “Oh, everyone’s talking about technology now. Let’s add that on… let’s just keep adding, adding, adding to the plate until our plates are so full. And our student’s plates are so full that they feel like they’re in this rat race to nowhere,” she said. Instead, Ms. Tung focuses on incorporating technology learning into every subject. She said that all the different learning subjects are not mutually exclusive—they can complement each other. As the students learn about good citizenship, they can learn about good digital citizenship. Complete integration can help students prepare for the new digital reality awaiting them outside of school. This article is published by SCMP Events as post-event insights from the Secondary School Education Forum 2022 for the benefit of our attendees and the wider SCMP readership.