Technology is everywhere!

Joshua Kim again has a great post on Inside Higher Ed.  This one is about technology skills all university graduates should have.  He starts by saying:

Every job is a technology job.

And, of course, he is right.  Even working at Wal-Mart involves technology today.  You can’t apply for many jobs without using technology, whether it is a computer terminal in a store or completing an online application.  And many, many jobs require the employee to use technology on a regular basis.  So college graduates need to be able to handle all kinds of technology, not just the basic Microsoft Office suite that used to be required.

Joshua lists ten proficiencies he thinks everyone needs.  We all should:

1. Start a Blog

2. Buy an Audio Recorder and Learn to Use It

3. Start Editing Audio

4. Post an Interview (or Podcast) on Your Blog

5. Learn How to Shoot, Crop, Tone, and Optimize Photos (And Add Them to Your Blog)

6. Learn to Create Effective Voice-Over Presentations with Rapid Authoring Software

7. Tell a Good Story with Images and Sound

8. Learn to Shoot Video

9. Edit Your Video with iMovie or Windows Movie Maker

10. Publish Your Video on Your Blog.

As I read the list, I can see how valuable most of the skills are.  I believe that starting a blog is extremely valuable.  A blog allows the writer to develop a voice, to develop confidence in his or her opinions.  It encourages clear writing.  It challenges you to think.  So blogging seems to be vital.  I also think the idea of being able to tell a good story with images and sounds is an important one.  We are all called on to explain what happened or what could happen, to relate our ideas to others clearly.  And I can see that interviewing someone would also be very useful — learning how to ask questions, how to respond to the answers you get, etc.  I hadn’t thought of that one.  The other proficiencies seem to be means to those ends.  They are valuable but on a different plane from these first two.

What we need to think about, I think, is Joshua’s final question:

What percentage of our institution’s graduates could check-off all 10 boxes?

At my institution, I would doubt that many could.  My students get more of this kind of technology exposure than most, I think.  We blog and use wikis because I see the value in them.  I have had students record audio, but I have not had them upload it to their blogs.  A few have done video, but it wasn’t uploaded, either.  So I have a long ways to go if I want to really prepare my students for their futures.

Technology is everywhere.  And it isn’t the technology of even 15 years ago .  Email and PowerPoint presentations aren’t enough anymore!  We are not preparing our students for their futures if we omit this important aspect of life.

Check out Joshua’s post.  It’s a good one.

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2 thoughts on “Technology is everywhere!

  1. Angie says:

    I think he is right on! As an elementary school teacher, I’m at the beginning of a student learning to do all of this. Our teachers are responsible for our students technology-learning so if the teacher isn’t versed in it, the student won’t be either. So I would add: Educators today need to be able to do all the things he has listed.

  2. Nancy McKeand says:

    Ah, yes! How true. But unfortunately, I don’t think most teachers trained by my institution can — in large part because their professors can’t and don’t see much value in it.

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