Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Return to Sender

Schools continue to deliver new graduates into the workplace lacking the tech-based "soft skills" that businesses demand. Experts blame K-12's persistent failure to integrate technology.

In the 2007 report "Maximizing the Impact: The Pivotal Role of Technology in a 21st Century Education System," a task force of leading employers, ed tech advocates, and educators concluded that schools were barely using technology, much less developing the tech skills needed of those entering the workplace.

"To a wireless nation," task force members wrote, "which relies on technology for ordinary tasks and extraordinary achievements, it is shocking and inconceivable--but true--that technology is marginalized in the complex and vital affairs of education."

The upshot of this neglect, the report goes on to say, is to leave students unsuited for a work environment in which knowing core subject content can be secondary to being able to use technology to demonstrate the so- called 21st century skills that employers now demand: "Even if all students mastered core academic subjects, they still would be woefully under prepared to succeed in post secondary institutions and workplaces, which increasingly value people who can use their knowledge to communicate, collaborate, analyze, create, innovate, and solve problems."

The report, published jointly by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), was a loud, disruptive clarion call to schools to move purposefully toward the use of technology to develop 21st century skills.

Or it should have been, anyway......more...


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