The jobs ‘will all be gone’: Ted Dintersmith on how schools should adapt in the age of automation

After a successful career as a venture capitalist, Ted Dintersmith has turned his attention to education.

On the heels of a cross-country tour, during which he visited school districts in all 50 states, Dintersmith spoke with EdScoop TV about what he saw and learned from teachers and students all across the United States.

One of his favorite stories was about the work Darryl Adams, also featured in the EdScoop video, did in Coachella Valley School District, implementing the country’s first ” Wi-Fi on Wheels ” program.

And one of Dintersmith’s biggest takeaways from the school visits, he says, is that students actually feel empowered when they are given control of technology — a reality that could change the way schools deliver technology instruction.

“If we put teachers in a position of having to teach students technology, that’s a big ask and not something the teachers often are really excited about and maybe not really the best way for students to learn it,” he says.

“If we, instead, flip it and give [students] challenges and encourage them and help them to learn it … I think that’s a shift we need to think about in terms of transferring the responsibility on to the student.”

Dintersmith, whose new book “What School Could Be” was published April 10, also describes his concerns about today’s youngest students and how they will fare in a future transformed by automation.

“Machine intelligence is racing ahead,” he says. “By the time a kindergarten student gets out of school, there will not be a single routine job left in the economy. They will all be gone. That has profound repercussions for what we do in our schools.”

Learn more about Dintersmith’s year traveling across America and his suggestions for schools looking to get ahead in the age of automation:

What advice would you offer to others considering this type of project?

What edtech issues do you feel are most important for educators or technology directors to pay attention to this year?