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Education 4.0: Importance of fourth Industrial Revolution?

The famous buzzword among educationists today is Education 4.0. What is Education 4.0? Do educators really understand it or do they simply follow what others are doing? To understand Education 4.0, it is important to understand the Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0.




What is Industrial Revolution to understand how the Industrial Revolution changed over time? Developments brought by Industrial Revolution have gone through four phases. During the 1st IR,water and steam were used to mechanize production so it's called the “Machine Age”.During the 2nd IR, electric power was used to create mass production so it was the “Electricity Age”. During the 3rd IR, electronics and information technology were used to automate production it was “Electronics Age”. The 4th IR is “Internet Age” which is beyond an enhancement of the 3rd IR, in which the advancement of new technologies blurs the lines between the physical, digital and biological worlds.




“We humans have always been resilient. With each industrial revolution, we have adapted, creating new jobs with new technologies.” - Hari Sreenivasan

The new technologies evolve at an exponential pace and there is no historical precedent that marked the beginning of the evolution, hence being called disruptive technologies. These advancements are led by the emergence of artificial intelligence, robotics, the internet of things, autonomous vehicles, bio and nanotechnology, 3-D printing, material science, quantum computing, and energy storage. The IR 4.0 affects not only business, governance, and people, it also affects education as well, thus the name Education 4.0 came into existence.


Fourth Industrial Revolution


The most crucial development lead to Industry 4.0 is the usage of internet in industrial fields.Cyber-physical systems, which have contributed to development of Industry 4.0, point out the Technologies which increase and enhance human capacity by being a part of daily life. Cyber-physical systems make the concept of “internet of things”, which enables “things” or “objects” working connectedly, a crucial concept for Industry 4.0. One of the characteristics of Industry 4.0 is the highest change pace ever and the other one is the difficulty of predicting the effects of these changes. Accordingly, it is possible the changes brought by Industry 4.0 will make change necessary for not only production sector but also many aspects of social life and education.




Education 4.0 is a response to the needs of IR4.0 where human and technology are aligned to enable new possibilities. Fisk (2017) explains that the new vision of learning promotes learners to learn not only skills and knowledge that are needed but also to identify the source to learn these skills and knowledge. Learning is built around them as to where and how to learn and tracking of their performance is done through data-based customization. Peers become very signiicant in their learning. They learn together and from each other, while the teachers assume the role of facilitators in their learning.


Nine trends of Education 4.0


There are nine trends related to Education 4.0 . First, learning can be taken place anytime anywhere. e-Learning tools offer great opportunities for remote, selfpaced learning. Flipped classroom approach also plays a huge role as it allows interactive learning to be done in class, while the theoretical parts to be learned outside the class time.


Second, learning will be personalized to individual students. They will be introduced to harder tasks only after a certain mastery level is achieved. More practices will be provided if the instructors see a need in it. Positive reinforcements are used to promote positive learning experience and boost students’ conidence about their own academic abilities.


Third, students have a choice in determining how they want to learn. Although the learning outcomes of a course are preset by the institutions/bodies in charge of the curriculum, students are still free to choose the learning tools or techniques that they prefer. Among the options that lecturers can adopt to enable students to be creative in their learning are blended learning, flipped classroom and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approach.


Fourth, students will be exposed to more project-based learning. Students are required to apply their knowledge and skills in completing a couple of short term projects. By involving in the projects, they are practicing their organizational, collaborative and time management skills which are useful in their future academic careers.



Fifth, students will be exposed to more hands-on learning through ield experience such as internships, mentoring projects and collaborative projects. The advancement of the technology enables the learning of certain domains effectively, thus making more room for acquiring skills that involve human knowledge and face-to-face interaction.


Sixth, students will be exposed to data interpretation in which they are required to apply their theoretical knowledge to numbers and use their reasoning skills to make inferences based on logic and trends from given sets of data. The manual part of mathematical literacy will become irrelevant as computers will perform the statistical analysis and predict the future trends.


Seventh, students will be assessed differently and the conventional platforms to assess students may become irrelevant or insuficient. Students’ factual knowledge can be assessed during the learning process, while the application of the knowledge can be tested when they are working on their projects in the field


Eighth, students’ opinion will be considered in designing and updating the curriculum. Their inputs help the curriculum designers maintain curriculum contemporariness, up-todate and usefulness.

Lastly, students will become more independent in their own learning, thus forcing teachers to assume a new role as facilitators who will guide the students through their learning process.


The nine trends of Education 4.0 shift the major learning responsibilities from the instructors to the learners. Instructors should play their roles to support the transition and should never consider it a threat to the conventional teaching profession


Learning preference of the Gen Z students


The changes that take place in Education 4.0 really describes the learning preference of the Gen Z students.Even it is not impossible for a language course to adapt to the changes that are brought by the IR4.0 wave. It is about time for class instructors to consider integrating more current technologies in their teaching methodology. The students that they have now have different preference than students that they had 10 years ago. Integrating more current technologies will make the instructors more creative in designing their lessons, thus making the learning more interesting. Learning can also be more effective as the way it is delivered matches the Gen Z students’ preferences. The flipped classroom approach has enable the class instructor to plan the learning activities in such a way that can support the Social Emotional Learning of the students as well.




Courtesy and reference- International Journal of Education & Literacy Studies and Anealka Aziz Hussin* Akademi Pengajian Bahasa, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM)

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