Preparing Young People
For The Future Jobs Market
Zeeko is an education technology company focused on providing innovative digital programmes to primary and secondary schools. Founded in 2015, primarily providing Internet Safety Seminars to schools in Ireland, the company has since evolved to become the leading provider of 21st century skills courses in the Irish education market.
Zeeko’s mission is to progress the education system by transferring the focus from fact-based learning to skills-based learning and creating an environment where children and adults can safely and effectively benefit from the use of technology and the Internet. Zeeko has provided tools and training to 800+ schools across the country and engages with 55000+ students annually.
We live in extremely uncertain times. Sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, the world is changing on a daily basis. The education system’s ultimate goal is to educate and prepare young people so that they can go out into the world and be successful members of society. But no one has any real idea what the world is going to be like in 10, 20 or 50 years time. According to the OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 report, the education system should "prepare them for jobs that have not yet been created, for technologies that have not yet been invented, to solve problems that have not yet been anticipated", (OECD, 2018, p.2)1. But how do you do that? How do you create a learning environment that is engaging, fun and helps to prepare young people for the jobs market in an uncertain future? This is a serious challenge.
Zeeko is constantly striving to find new and innovative ways to teach young people 21st century skills and tools. When brainstorming this challenge, the same questions came up again and again. How can schools provide young people with the right toolkit for succeeding in a changeable and uncertain world? How can the education system provide young people with the skills to succeed in the jobs of the future? And it is from these questions that the Magical Leaders programme was born. Magical Leaders is a peer led education resource for 10-14 year olds for learning and applying 21st century skills taught through the lens of entrepreneurship. Developed by educational specialists and teachers, Magical Leaders complements and enriches the school curriculum by focusing on
developing transferable skills that will help your students deal with our ever-changing and unpredictable world.
"Zeeko, as a partner under this project is educating children to work with and flourish within that unknowable future that is ahead of us in the next 100 years and we really welcome this programme from a primary school entrepreneurship perspective"
This innovative digital learning experience helps to teach and nurture 21st century skills through video game design and gameplay. The programme is built using the Unity game engine and creates a futuristic, interactive world that the students can explore. Each world is focused on developing a particular skill such as new value creation, communication, teamwork, self-awareness, critical thinking and creative problem solving. The online world is filled with activities, videos, question prompts and more. Along with the accompanying workbooks, students not only learn about the skill but also engage in activities throughout the lesson to develop the skill.
Engagement in the classroom can be a big problem for teachers. Peer led learning is a great way to keep the class engaged with a subject while also providing opportunities for students to build confidence and presentation skills.
They really enjoyed the opportunity to lead and to present. The lessons allowed the children to take control of their learning and to do something that they wouldn't ordinarily do in the classroom"
The Magical Leaders programme was created to introduce peer led learning into the classroom, with students taking over lessons 2-6 and teaching them to their peers. This type of programme also provides huge benefits for teachers, giving them an opportunity to sit back and observe their students in a way that is not always possible from the front of the classroom.
In 2022 the Magical Leaders programme was ran in over 120 schools in Ireland, UK and Asia. In order to assess the impact of the programme and this style of learning, students were asked to fill in a pre and post assessment survey. They were asked how good they thought they were at the following skills, before and after completing the Magical Leaders programme.
How Good Are You At The Following Skills?
The number of students that considered their communication skills ‘good’ or ‘very good’ increased from ’59%’ to ‘67%’ after completing the Magical Leaders programme.
Creative Problem Solving
The number of students that considered their creative problem-solving skills ‘good’ or ‘very good’ increased from ’52%’ to ‘58%’ after completing the Magical Leaders programme.
The number of students that considered their teamwork skills ‘good’ or ‘very good’ increased from '72%' to '74%’ after completing the Magical Leaders programme.
The number of students that considered their self-awareness skills ‘good’ or ‘very good’ increased from ’51%’ to ‘59%’ after completing the Magical Leaders programme.
Overall, The Magical Leaders Programme Positively Impacted Skills Development In Primary School Children.
Change is on the horizon
Zeeko are not the only ones that are recognizing the need for change in the education system in Ireland. The Irish primary school curriculum is due to receive a radical overhaul in 2024. According to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment in Ireland (NCCA), the new ‘curriculum aims to provide a strong foundation for every child to thrive and flourish, supporting them in realising their full potential as individuals and as members of communities and society during childhood and into the future.’1 The new curriculum focuses on building seven key competencies to equip children with the essential knowledge, skills, concepts, dispositions, attitudes and values which enable them to adapt and deal with a range of situations, challenges and contexts in support of broader learning goals. These competencies include being a digital learner, communicating, being creative and being an active citizen. The focus on skills based learning is aligned with the P21 Framework. The ‘P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning was developed with input from educators, education experts, and business leaders, such as the United States Department of Education, Apple Computer Inc, Dell Computer Corporation and Microsoft Corporation. The Framework defines and illustrates the skills, knowledge, expertise, and support systems that students need to succeed in work, life, and citizenship.’2 The framework focuses on the importance of teaching learning and innovation skills, life and career skills and digital and media literacy.
Do you want to teach 21st Century skills in your classroom?
If you would like to run the Magical Leaders programme in your school, get in touch today. You can find out more about the programme on the Zeeko website. Or, you can call us on +353 (0)1 969 6708 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The team at Zeeko would be delighted to help your students develop their skills so that they can be successful in the future.
Case Study for Magical Leaders