The case for change – Charlie’s Future animation

This animation explores what the world will look like for children starting school today and considers the skills they will need to flourish.


Journey with our students as they imagine how schools will look in 20 years time. Explore their thoughts as they ask - What will life look like in the future? What jobs will people have? What will robots be able to do?

You may also like to view our panel discussion which explores what students might need to thrive in an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-future, and critical questions this raises for today's education systems. Engage with the thinking of academics, practitioners and industry experts as they discuss implications for education of emerging developments in artificial intelligence and other trends.

Published: 2019.


Charlie's Future



What will the future be for our students? Meet Charlie. Charlie is starting his first day of kindergarten, which means he'll be finishing school in 2031 So, what will Charlie's world look like? Even on day one of this journey, it feels like Charlie's already living in the future.

Self-driving cars are being tested on the streets, IBM's Watson can diagnose rare forms of cancer more accurately than doctors. Pizzas can be delivered by drone, and Alexa can turn on your lights and lock your front door.

As time moves forward, technological change will accelerate and its impact will spread. It's impossible to predict exactly what the future will look like, but we can imagine that the combined forces of artificial intelligence, automation, and globalisation, will reshape how we live and work.

Technological change will be disruptive to many industries, but also unlock new opportunities and create new roles for our students as they enter the workforce. Those who can interrogate and critically engage with these technologies, who are resilient and have the capacity to learn and relearn, will be more involved human beings.

So, let's rewind. Knowing how different the future will be for Charlie, what can we do to prepare him for the road ahead? We know that much won't change. A strong focus on literacy and numeracy will continue to be important, but the depth of knowledge and breadth of skills that students like Charlie will need to flourish, will be more important than ever. That means a business as usual approach won't be enough.

Our students will not only need to understand the computational concepts and tools required to interact with new technologies such as AI, but more importantly, they will need to be critical thinkers and creative problem solvers to navigate their way, and to realise their full potential.

We need to create opportunities for our students to apply their deep knowledge to real-world situations, but also to make sure they develop the empathy and emotional intelligence they will need, to be well-rounded citizens in the future. Join us as we explore Charlie's future. Visit our website, read our papers, and join the discussion on Twitter.


End of transcript.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
Return to top of page Back to top