Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 2017

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | www.broadbandcommunities.com | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 17 Right now there are many opportunities for technology to disrupt work, but increasingly, technology will offer more opportunities to enhance work. For example, with augmented reality showing where to place a drill, a manufacturing worker can do tasks he or she couldn't do before. Greg Laudeman, Magellan Advisors: Manufacturing is moving to lights-out facilities. e economic opportunities are not in jobs in those facilities but in designing the products and equipment and systems to make them work. Paul Baker, Georgia Tech: e World Economic Forum, predicting the skills needed for future work, says that STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills are necessary but not sufficient. Soft skills are required, too. A brilliant engineer who can't communicate with others isn't very effective. Which problem are you trying to solve – creating jobs or matching available skills to needs? Reframing the problem may be necessary. One entity I consulted with told me it needed more training, but then it had no jobs to fill. In another case, a company was given incentives to locate a factory in a small town, but it soon had to shut the plant because it couldn't find enough trained workers or resources to train workers. Georgia Tech was asked to develop an online master's program in computer science, and 17,000 students applied. It has a higher dropout rate than the in-person program, but the quality of the graduates is the same. One of the teaching assistants is an AI bot, but students can't tell. rough this program, Georgia Tech has contributed a 9 percent increase in computer scientists at low cost. Nicolette Darjean, David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy, University of Louisiana: We are teaching high school students a college-level engineering curriculum using an online educational tool called Project Lead the Way. We use industry problem- solving techniques to do real projects. We started by creating STEM activities for public parks. en we were chosen to put a microlab on the International Space Station, so the students coded the lab to work autonomously in zero gravity for 30 days. e students came up with the Atomic Agora, a tiny-house project. is was a two-year venture that the kids designed from scratch, working with an architect. ey wanted it to be a benefit for an underserved community. When Mozilla came through with a grant, the students realized that the house had to be more than a home – it's also a Wi-Fi hub, a guerrilla classroom and a miniature example of a smart city. Kids with diverse learning styles can learn and create in different ways. We don't teach to a test; our students learn better by making education a hobby, and they do a lot better on the tests. ere are challenges, though. No one else in the district really understands what we're doing. And industry representatives won't come in to look at the students' projects. ey take for granted that kids can't do this kind of work. We'd like to make connections between the community and the industry. It could make a real difference in the economic development of our city and state. Theresa Collington, WorkingNation: Ashbury Manufacturing in West Virginia needed robotics and automation, but it didn't want to displace its workers. It partnered with Xometry to enlarge its market and was able to add robots without firing people. It started the robots paired with workers on the night shift. Workers learned how to let the robots do the rote tasks and focus more on the higher-level tasks. In Kenosha, Wisconsin, Gateway Technical College partnered with Snap-on Tools and Fiat to create an advanced automotive technology program. ey found bright kids and created career paths for them. ADAPTIVE COMMUNITIES Gary Bolles, eParachute: Adaptive communities make use of emergent leaders, who aren't necessarily the traditional community leaders but those who are passionate about the future of the community. ese communities have processes to convene on a regular basis. ey use rapid-cycle assessment and reporting on what they've done. Peter Hirshberg, Coauthor, Maker Cities: Innovative programs help communities adapt to change. Rising Tide Capital, a nonprofit in Jersey City, New Jersey, puts people through a 15-week program to train them as entrepreneurs. It's been very successful in terms of income. In Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, the Innovation Collective engaged the community to think through what it wanted; it decided on formal and informal entrepreneurship training focused on robotics and artificial intelligence. In Pittsburgh, which evolved from steel to software to robotics, the museums, libraries and foundations got together and came up with mechanisms for Greg Laudeman, Magellan Advisors Theresa Collington, WorkingNation Gary Bolles, eParachute Peter Hirshberg, Coauthor, Maker Cities Nicolette Darjean, University of Louisiana Paul Baker, Georgia Tech

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