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Technology in the driver's seat

Tech development has infiltrated itself into the marketplace and now the new generation of child care educators could quite possibly require additional skills

We all know Facebook has been around the block a couple of times. Some employers regularly use Twitter, LinkedIn and other SoMe platforms. There are tablets, "phablets" and smart phones with a myriad of apps available. But are educators taking notice? Are we actively preparing our students for a workforce where the use of technology is not only required but required to be managed effectively?

Just recently I was invited to give some feedback to a new startup that had developed a communication tool for use in the child care sector. Suffice to say I was blown away – by its simplicity and by the fact that it's been developed on sound principles that are true to its initial intended outcome. I was asked to reflect on how I thought it would sit in the market.

These clever guys have come up with an app that allows childcare services to send photos, videos and comments straight to the parents through a secure feed - real time, real information. No more mystery about what's going on in the child care service or what your child is up to.

The product has great appeal to me on three levels - as a mum, a teacher and a techie. But the real bell-ringer for me as an educator is the fact that this product has the potential to actually change what I'm teaching to my students. I realised products such as this one actually require a different skill set, that the child care industry could soon be changing what it requires for a student to be considered "work ready".

Here, tech development has infiltrated itself into the marketplace and now the new generation of child care educators could quite possibly require additional skills to work in an environment that takes full advantage of available technologies.

How curious… is this happening often? Is technology a new driver of training package content? I hope the Industry Reference Groups that are consulted in the development of a training package have got their tech hats on. Awareness of how technology is developing and the rapid change, adoption and impact of technology in any workplace provides new challenges for Registered Training Organisations.

Meanwhile, childcare is a notoriously conservative arena. The guys in the new startup venture sure will have their work cut out for them and I wish them the best of luck. I hope they realise the power they're actually holding. This could be a game changer – for them and for us all.