The 2021 Tech Trends Shaping Our Kid’s Futures

The pandemic was a catalyst for many tech trends that were already creeping into the mainstream. With technologies such as 5G promising faster connection speeds, artificial intelligence (AI) supporting our decision making and advancements in our beloved IoT gadgets, we wonder how things might play out in our children’s futures for education, work, security and health. 

Engaging Educational Experiences

Lockdowns have forced many into finding creative ways to make use of digital technology and it has transformed our modern-day education. As more interest and investment is poured into Ed-Tech, we are seeing new kinds of learning experiences. We foresee future education to be more than just school curriculums and more about learning experiences like museum trips, exciting excursions and playful activities, many of which will leverage on new technologies. We can expect technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and the hybrid mixed reality (MR) to create learning environments that are more immersive. Together with the rise of gamification, edutainment will be a standard. It is also exciting to think about the upcoming speed and availability of satellite internet coupled with improved devices, education will be more accessible and lifelong learning will be a part of everyday life.

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AI Assisted Flexible Workplaces

Apart from those who were self-employed digital nomads, it seemed like for everyone else remote work wasn’t an option before. More than a year on from the first lockdowns, many companies and workers have adjusted to improve remote work and digital workplaces. Some still have concerns about the future of work like productivity, relationships or training quality. However, if employers embrace the positive aspects gained from our recent experiences working from home and continue to improve them, future workers may have the stepping stones to meaningful work-life balance. With the coming of age of Machine Learning aimed to help humans make decisions, virtual technologies supporting training and mechanical robots taking over manual labour, we can expect future workers’ roles to be different. It’s been predicted that job roles will centre around creative thinking and human relations skills becoming increasingly important. Removal of location boundaries will see work places with more diverse workforces and a focus on collaboration. We can also expect remote work to continue but with improvements to address concerns such as technologies and blended setups that supports secure, remote working and collaboration between staff.

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Virtual Self Defense

COVID-19 increased online activities tenfold and accelerated measures to track and trace, increased use of biometric recognition, data collection, and other forms of online monitoring. With more people in the digital sphere, there are more opportunities for cybercriminals to hack and steal information easily. The rising number of data breaches, it’s getting more and more difficult to ignore data privacy concerns. Personal data will be a top priority for businesses and individuals. Blockchain may be a big help in data decentralization and stopping cyber robbing and uncontrolled changes. There are also IoT Technologies advancing such as video cameras, audio receivers and recorders and similar tools that could give rise to the potential for new types of surveillance opportunities, which could be exploited both by individuals or attackers. It will be important for our children to be aware of these threats and educate themselves with skills for digital citizenship and cybersecurity. Becoming individuals who are risk-informed and understand when and how their data is being used and also what they can do to influence the use of their data.

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Instant Interconnected Healthcare

There has been a huge focus on healthcare as the worry of viruses is still fresh in the public’s mind.  People want to feel safe and healthy and health services hope to meet that demand. We are now seeing new types of technology systems used daily across hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes, pharmacies and community care facilities. There is still a gap in how these different healthcare entities communicate and share information with each other as well as with patients. The expectation is that current tech trends like mobile health, real time tracking wearables and AI will pave the way to a tomorrow where we have better autonomy over our health and improve communication between service users and service providers. Data-driven technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are making advances to help diagnose diseases or conditions and to gain better insights into treatments and preventions that could benefit all of society. We expect accurate diagnosis made from data collected from wearables and relevant information could be sent to patients. The future will likely go further with robotics and voice assistants to support people and their carers to provide the best healthcare possible. 

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About Fire Tech

Fire Tech’s mission is to give young people the tools and inspiration to become the tech creators, makers, and leaders of the future. We have delivered over 80,000 learning experiences to young people across the world. Courses include Python & Java coding, AI, game design, and digital media production. Each workshop is designed to teach young people future skills such as design thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving. All of our programmes are taught by tech-savvy teachers from some of the UK’s leading universities. 

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