Christa Simone – neuroscientist turned ed-tech professional – might have one of the most interesting professional and educational backgrounds.
She started her career in neuroscience research at the Brain and Creativity Institutee at USC, focused on the effects of culture on adolescent social-emotional development. She then worked at Lumosity, the brain training company, researching the effects of cognitive training. Now, as a current researcher at NoRedInk, she works with the team to help students become better writers through adaptive, interest-based grammar and writing curriculum.
Neuroscience meets education meets technology. How cool is that?
KnowledgeWorks submitted a SXSWedu session that would feature Christa’s insight on how we ensure students are prepared for the future workforce. If our session is selected, she would be able to share her experience working in research and ed-tech to help support learning.
I asked Christa a few questions about readiness and the panel discussion. Learn more below, and be sure to vote for our session today!
Why do you think we should rethink what workforce readiness looks like in the future?
While I don’t believe that the sole purpose of school should be to prepare students for the workforce, I think the disconnect between what is taught in school and what is required to be successful at work has become increasingly apparent, putting many students at a disadvantage when they leave school, especially if they haven’t been afforded opportunities outside of school. Rethinking workforce readiness led us to the idea of creating lifelong learners as a key purpose of education. Being a lifelong learner, I believe, is important for both workforce readiness and creating personally meaningful lives beyond work.
Based on your experience, what skills do you think employees will need to succeed in the future?
In my experience, I’ve seen people really succeed at work because of their creativity and grit. It’s no longer about following a prescribed path or job description; the people who excel are the ones who can identify problems and design solutions without being asked. Inter-personal skills are also really important, because, generally, doing something outside the box requires buy-in from others.
Why do you think people should vote for this session?
I think our session is unique in that we’re bringing together some really diverse perspectives from inside and outside education to talk about education. I believe that’s going to be key to how we, as a society, make impactful changes to the way our school systems work.