Preparing K-8 Students for the Careers of the Future
One of the historic goals of elementary and middle schools has been to prepare students for success in the next grade level. Today, that educational mission has expanded to include preparing students for “college, careers and life”. The journey to prepare students for the major transformation from child to adult, which includes equipping students with the skills they need to enter the workforce, begins much earlier than in previous generations.
As I send my own child off to preschool this year, I’m reminded that, as early as pre-K, there is a transition happening. Each step of the student journey is part of this transition and along the way parents, educators, and administrators need to consider how to appropriately prepare students to be capable and successful in an increasingly digital future. If we wait until high school to empower students with digital literacy, we may have missed the opportunity to help them truly develop the tech skills to be ready.
In fact, a study conducted by ACT initially in 2008 and reassessed in 2014 concluded that “…the level of academic achievement that students attain by eighth grade has a larger impact on their college and career readiness by the time they graduate from high school than anything that happens academically in high school.” While this study was based on core curricula knowledge, it can be inferred that if students don’t have the technology and digital literacy skills they need by eighth grade, they also will not be able to attain these skills throughout high school to be ready for college and future careers.
Providing a Foundation for Success
At Learning.com, we are passionate about preparing students with the digital literacy skills they need, starting as early as kindergarten. Throughout all of their school experience, the modern student needs to be competent and adept at learning, using, and adapting technology tools to be digital citizens, workers and makers.
Choosing the Best Solution
So, how do we get there? Students need to be given the freedom to move beyond basic instruction. They need to have opportunities to explore and apply what they learn in authentic experiences. In addition, students and teachers need access to high quality digital literacy curriculum that appropriately scaffolds instruction to allow learners to begin, develop, master, and fine-tune technology and higher order thinking skills.
This curriculum should:
- Align to Career Ready Practices by applying appropriate academic and technical skills, preparing students to act as responsible and contributing citizens and employees in a digital world.
- Equip our future workforce, with skills to stay safe and responsible online, and to be effective digital explorers, citizens, and professionals.
- Prepare students with scaffolded opportunities to develop computer fundamentals, effective keyboarding capabilities and aptitude in common business application tools that have become enmeshed in every career field.
- Develop student’s problem-solving skills, including perseverance, by understanding and leveraging the power of computing for increasing productivity, creativity, and innovation.
To prepare students with the skills they need for future college and careers, we need to begin equipping them as early as possible with tools that will help them build the most successful tomorrow. To learn more about how Learning.com’s EasyTech solution can help develop the digital literacy foundation students need, click here.