Written by: Reagan Flowers, PhD
The days of slow-paced change, data kept in hard copy files, and only some workers needing to learn new technology, are long gone. Today’s students require different skill-sets and the changing workplace continues to outpace many schools, leaving students unprepared to enter the workplace right out of high school.
Something everyone must understand is that digital literacy is non-negotiable. Nearly every job has integrated digital processes, whether scanning returns on a phone in retail, placing your order and paying the tab with a device mounted to your table at restaurants, or taking a digital image of your check and making a mobile deposit. Information is now being compiled and shared across multiple digital platforms making it easier to access data while increasing productivity.
Just as we share a funny video or inspiring quote, we need to all share opportunities with parents and youth that can increase their digital literacy skills. Many people look at digital literacy in a very limited way—the ability to operate a tablet, mobile device, or computer. Not understanding that in order for a student to be considered as digitally literate, they must be able to find, evaluate, and compose information grammatically correct using various forms of media on digital platforms.
According to an Education Week article, a 41-nation study indicates that the dream job for teenager’s of today is the same as it was in 2000. An indication of the type of instruction that has not landed in many classrooms despite the fact that a new world of opportunity has opened up to them. We have got to make classroom learning more relevant if we want students to dream in the present and future–not in the past.
The workplace of today requires that students think outside-the-box, can problem-solve, are digitally literate, know some form of coding, are adept with working in augmented reality spaces and understand how to utilize artificial intelligence to create new experiences. Not only do we need students to realize what they can become, we need them to also know what skills they need to develop to reach their goals.
Let’s help student’s own their destiny so that they can thrive in the workplace of today and tomorrow. Change waits for no one!