Sunday, January 22, 2006

In many jurisdictions particularly within Canada there is a dis-joint between education at all levels and addressing the needs of an information society. As one gets closer to the actual information technology sector and addressing their needs the gap widens even further.

Who is responsible? If you ask K-12 education they will tell you their job is much greater than to just prepare people for work. How could we disagree? Yet would anyone argue that when all is said and done after 12 years of K-12 schooling we should be on a solid literacy footing to move forward and take our place in modern society. Along with the literacy base we should, by the time we/ve obtained a grade 12 certificate, be made aware of career opporunities which exist in a modern society and the qualifications it will take to participate in this arena.

What exposures should our students receive while passing through the K-12 system? Should it be a combination of technology immersion with career insight? Is learning how to use technology enough? Do we also need to know how to apply it to real world situations? What responsibilites does the K-12 system have on behalf of our youth to prepare them for a society that is driven by technology and where some of the greatest career opportunities lies within the technology sector itself?

1 comment:

Keith said...

A vision of how schools can best prepare students to succeed in the first decades of the 21st century must focus on six key elements of 21st century learning:

1.Core Subjects: The challenge for schools and policymakers is to expand their focus beyond "basic competency" to understanding the core academic content at much higher levels.

2. Learning Skills: "To cope with the demands of the 21st century, students need to know more than core subjects. They need to know how to use their knowledge and skills-by thinking critically, applying knowledge to new situations, analyzing information, comprehending new ideas, communicating, collaborating, solving problems, and making decisions."

3. 21st Century Tools: Recognizing that "technology is, and will continue to be, a driving force in workplaces, communities, and personal lives in the 21st century",the importance of incorporating information and communication technologies into education from the elementary grades up is paramount.

4. 21st Century Context: Experiences that are relevant to students' lives, connected with the world beyond the classroom, and based on authentic projects are central as the appropriate context for learning in the information age.

5. 21st Century Content: Certain content is essential for preparing students to live and work in a 21st century world and is missing from many provincial and local standards.

6. New Assessments that Measure 21st Century Skills: "As pervasive as assessment seems to be today," it remains an emerging and challenging field that demands further study and innovation." Recommendations include moving beyond standardized testing as the sole measure of student learning; balancing traditional tests with classroom assessments to measure the full range of students' skills; and using technology-based assessments to deliver immediate feedback.