Students get sneak peek of future

Faheemah Dean, Liverpool Girls High School.
Faheemah Dean, Liverpool Girls High School.

Some students aged 14 to 18 were selected from schools in Western Sydney to participate in a workshop which exposed them to the future of technology, including virtual reality, augumented reality and artificial intelligence.

The workshop event, The School of Future Tech, was hosted by MYOB and I-Manifest and explored how technology will have an impact on work, daily life and relationships.

On the day students were placed into groups and had the opportunity to engage with leading tech brains in Australia.

One of the year 10 students who attended was Faheemah Dean from Liverpool Girls High School. She said it opened her eyes to the difficulty of preparing for a career path when there will be a number of jobs that currently don’t exist.

“The day was about how technology helps businesses develop in the future and as an umbrella for change. I thought the day went incredibly well - it was engaging, it was fun and there was a lot of hands on work as well,” she said.

“The main thing I took from the three days was - the future is quite scary and there’s going to be a lot of change with Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality coming into our lives. The future may be completely different to how it looks today.

“So there’s no set pathway for me – I don’t think my future exists yet with the world changing so quickly. Younger generations need to learn to be more flexible and I just want to build my skills. I would recommend other students attend more workshops like this one because you learn a lot. You’re put into a completely different environment from the classroom and it was presenting us with realistic situations without the cloud of school hanging over us.”

She said the highlight was speaking to the mentors who have had interesting career development.

“The highlight was meeting the mentors and it was really interesting because they had such different personalities and backgrounds. It was also an opportunity to talk to other peers that had similar interests to you.

“Jennie Bewes was one of our mentors and she was very inspirational. She ended up with different careers and now she has her own start up business consultancy. She gave really good advice about how to communicate effectively and explore your own passions and invest time into what you really love doing.”

Faheemah said her favourite subject is English and plans to work in a job relating to communications.

MYOB futurist Keran McKenzie said he was impressed with Faheemah’s ideas and mindset during the course.

MYOB futurist Keran McKenzie.

MYOB futurist Keran McKenzie.

Like other students, he said she took the future very seriously.

“For MYOB we are super excited to partner with I-Manifest and create these opportunities to explore what the kids of tomorrow could bring to business today. The students got to experiment with augmented reality and virtual reality and explored what the possibilities might be with working with technology such as drones,” he said.

“Technology is here to stay with us and will continue to change at an ever evolving pace. People will be scared of change and technology taking over peoples jobs, but there will be hundreds of other jobs created that we don’t even know exist at the moment.”

He said when it comes to robotics, they’re still primitive and in basic early stages.

“There will be super intelligence where computers can easily outstrip us –  we’ll see a lot of autonomous vehicles and then the sophistication in AI in the medical world. I think we’ll become more dependent on technology but the reality is the automation will save us mundane time and will help us foster more social experiences because the robots are doing the activities that we would have been doing.”

During the three days, students were able to engage with Google home, Google cardboard, Samsung VR headsets and Chat bots.