How do you start preparing grade school students for work that hasn’t been invented yet? According to Cathy Davidson, the author of Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn, as much as 65 percent of youth will end up in these jobs which is one reason why educators and parents need to stop fearing technology and learn how to teach it.
In the Mind/Shift article “How Do We Prepare Our Children for What’s Next?” Tina Barseghian writes, Davidson believes this is the time to start adjusting to the digital age, especially since we’re only becoming more dependent on our biggest technological tool, the Internet. “It’s time to survey our lives and figure out what works, what doesn’t, and how we can make real and practical improvements in our schools, our workplace, our every day lives,” says Davidson. And to do so, she suggest the following for parents:
- EXPERIMENT WITH SCRATCH. Students learn about programming in a fun and creative way. An employee’s ability to understand programming language and the logistics of programming is helpful even in today’s world. It’s only assumed that as technological fields grow, more and more employees will benefit from understanding tech talk and having technological skill.
- EMBARK ON A MEANINGFUL PROJECT. Children can start preparing for the world of work by getting involved in an activity outside of school. But children shouldn’t always be encouraged to be a leader in these situations, for the workforce it’s important that they also learn how to work on a team. Davidson says they should get involved in something that they might fail at or that seems like a big risk to learn lessons they can’t always learn in the classroom
- LEARN HOW TO BE A RESPONSIBLE DIGITAL CITIZEN. Using software tools to create a digital classroom community, have students develop an online identity and assign each student 10 stars. Every week, each student will award a chosen student with a gold star who they thought did an excellent job in participating in the digital community. But before they can award them the star, they must analyze why they think the person is exceptional and write an assessment. This teaches students it’s much more difficult, and worthwhile, to comment positively on other online members than it is to be negative.
Are you doing anything to prepare you students for the digital age? Do you have a fear of technology? Share your stories in the comment box below.
To read Barseghian’s entire interview with Davidson and learn more about her book, visit the source url below.
Barseghian, Tina. “How Do We Prepare Our Children for What’s Next?” August 19, 2011. Mind/Shift. Accessed on August 22, 2011. <http://mindshift.kqed.org/2011/08/how-do-we-prepare-our-children-for-whats-next/>