What does Education 4.0 mean?

Experts believe that in the Third Industrial Revolution, manufacturing companies began to incorporate more electronic technology and computers into their factories. This initiated a change with less emphasis on analog and mechanical technology, and more on digital technology and automation software. They estimate that there was a short time difference between Industry 3.0 and 4.0. And they affirm that the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, based on the third, is that of the digital age, mobile connectivity, social networks and the big datawhich unfolds at a dizzying pace in everyone’s life and without even having a comprehensive and effective notion of the dimension of ruptures with traditional molds in business, employment and also in education, among others.

Industry 4.0 emphasizes the digital technology of recent decades and takes it to a new level. Hence, it is characterized by the fusion of technologies that make the biological, the physical and the digital come together and it is difficult to draw a line where one ends and the other begins. These biological-physical-digital fusions are in areas such as biotechnology, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) (in English, Internet of Things), robotics, 3D printing and autonomous vehicles, among others. Likewise, enables better collaboration and access for all company departments, partners, vendors, products, and people. It enables greater effectiveness, speed and flexibility in the production process, giving rise to an increase in competitiveness thanks to technology, collaboration and people. This revolution affects business, government, people and influences education. Hence the name Education 4.0. In this regard, Pérez-Romero, P. et al (2019) state that to understand Education 4.0, it is necessary to understand Industry 4.0.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is not an a posteriori reality as happened with the three preceding ones, but rather a project that was born in Germany as a strategy to promote the digital revolution in industry, formally presented at the World Economic Forum in 2016 where the type was defined. of education that it required, which has among its characteristics: 1. Education by demand and not by supply; 2. Based on competence instead of knowledge; 3. Incorporate disruptive technologies and skill sets; 4. Lifelong learning instead of frontal learning; and 5. Emphasis on emotional intelligence capacity and not just on IQ.

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Ansari (2018) states that although Industry 4.0 is a technological, production and creation revolution of smart factories, it is also an educational, cultural, social, aesthetic, communication and values ​​revolution. So the digital transformation of education is an unstoppable process, with great impact and irreversible, although specialists point out that a formal definition of Education 4.0 demanded by Industry 4.0 has not yet been specified and agreed upon.

For his part, Guerrero Gálvez (2020) indicates that education has a close link with the economic systems that determine the type of education that will be taught in the educational systems depending on the needs of the economic regions of the world and particularly of the countries, where technology plays a very important role in economic development through industry. Therefore, it is necessary to rethink an education that responds to this reality, since everything has changed and evolved, but the same educational system of the First Industrial Revolution continues to predominate in the vast majority of educational centers in the world.

According to Fidalgo-Blanco, A. et al (2022), Education 4.0 is a model that allows meeting the demands of Industry 4.0. This is achieved by developing skills during the learning process that will later be used in Industry 4.0. This author says in this regard that the demand for education will be in the fields of science, engineering, mathematics and technology. This means that the humanities and social sciences will be relegated or will tend to disappear, as has happened in various parts of the world, because the objective is to promote technical talent. Since education will be based on competence and not on knowledge, the workers will only be limited to doing their work on the assembly line for mass production. These skills will have a broad spectrum and the workers will be multi-skilled. And he adds: This job versatility can only be ensured through permanent learning, for life, a concept taken from the Delors Report (UNESCO, 1996), whose four pillars are partially related to the latest characteristics of Education 4.0: learning to knowing, learning to do, learning to live together and learning to be. It is necessary to observe that, despite the fact that this implies economic growth from the capitalist sphere, it is not in a more comprehensive human development.

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For Dias Garofalo (2018): There is no turning back, Education 4.0 has arrived!, which refers to Revolution 4.0, or Fourth Industrial Revolution, whose origen it is associated with a demand from employers or the business sector, and the incorporation of the physical world into the digital world through the evolution of technological resources. An Education 4.0 uses digital technologies as the main means of learning and communication: the Internet as a common global space for education; take advantage of the knowledge generated worldwide; students are linked internationally to educate themselves and work, they use teaching and learning processes that go beyond what they learn in the classroom. In addition to their mother tongue they use other languages; require strong computer skills; take advantage of technology to facilitate learning processes and knowledge management; and they require ways of thinking that understand transdisciplinarity, among others.

Education 4.0 is not an educational model. It is about applying the already existing technological tools, to prepare people and get them to adapt easily to the changes caused by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hence, when we talk about Education 4.0, we are talking about that revolution that is required and urgent in the traditional educational models that are still in force. It is not based on content, but on the skills of the students. It is a change in educational approach, focusing on students and not on teachers. Here it should be noted that the Fourth Industrial Revolution poses a series of challenges for educators. “The main one is perhaps the need to acquire skills to continue learning throughout life.”

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The most complex challenges that Education 4.0 points out have to do with the people who have to manage this change and are the following: 1) The change of social practices and culture of educational centers, universities and public administrations. 2) The training of teachers and management teams. And 3) The stimulation, attraction and development of the talent of the teachers who have to make this 4.0 education possible from the teaching schools, as the Spanish writer José Antonio Marina points out.

Education 4.0 is based on the main trends of innovation and change, not just content; education must be related to industrial advances, economic and technological development in order to offer students cutting-edge knowledge, tools and sufficient skills to be competitive in the future. It is linked to a greater number of theoretical and methodological options. Among the theories identified are constructivism, competencies and connectivism. In terms of theoretical foundations, it adopts innovative methods for teaching and learning, in line with the current technological context.

For a long time it has been considered that the incorporation of ICTs in education opens up great possibilities to improve teaching and learning processes. However, in Dominican public education it is not enough to provide students with laptops and other devices. It is necessary to generate changes in the organization of schools, high schools and polytechnics, and in the digital skills of technical teams, managers, teachers and professors. In addition, it is urgent to advance in the incorporation of ICTs in family environments, to reduce the enormous digital gap between the public and private sectors.

Finally, “education has never been neutral and under these characteristics, Education 4.0 should not be and in such a circumstance, it is the duty of every education professional to criticize what is coming in the educational field and also maintain a posture of resistance

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