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Training And Education Beyond The Obsession With STEM

Forbes – Milton Ezrati

“Trade can help alleviate the pressures of this country’s aging demographic by allowing the economy to source labor-intensive products from abroad. It can only work, however, if the United States has something else to sell the world in return. Right now, the country has huge comparative and absolute advantages in producing high-value products. Its workforce is better educated and better trained than those of the emerging economies, where the United States would source its purchases of labor-intensive products. That workforce also has much more capital and technology at its disposal. To carry on this way, the economy will need to sustain these advantages, and that will involve an ever-greater emphasis on training and innovation.” (more)

Technology’s influence reshapes how employers assess job applicants

The Christian Science Monitor – Beth Pinsker

“When companies recruit new workers, particularly for entry-level jobs, they are not necessarily looking for knowledge of certain software. They are looking for what most consider soft skills: problem solving, effective communication, and leadership. They also want candidates who show a willingness to keep learning new skills.” (more)

What role does personalization play in college and career readiness?

E-School News – Julia Ottesen

“College and career readiness has grown to be a hot topic that is on the mind of every educational leader in the nation. But being college and career ready takes more than just career counseling or use of software in the classroom—it takes personalized, differentiated instruction that starts at an early age. Students must understand their unique strengths and interests, and teachers must see themselves as part of the global working world. Innovators in education shared their expertise on preparing students to be ready for the working world in a recent edWebinar.” (more)

Computer science in high school?

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Computer science has advanced considerably since the first computer programming language was developed in the 1950s. Instead of using punch cards to communicate with large mainframes, coders now work on personal computers, enjoy user-friendly programming languages, and have access to extensive libraries that include algorithms for many common operations.


Here are some of the highlights from the history of computer science from 1953 – 2016:
1953 – The first computer language, COBOL, is created.
1977 – Jobs and Wozniak incorporate Apple.
1985 – Microsoft announces Windows.
1998 – Google is founded.
1999 – WiFi is introduced.
2004 – Facebook is launched.
2007 – Apple introduces the smart phone and app developers flourish.
2016 – The first reprogrammable quantum computer is created.

During this period, Gordon Moore (Intel), Steve Jobs (Apple Computer), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Steve Case (AOL), Larry Page (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and many others made fortunes using zeros and ones to process and store information.

In 2017, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced development of a new “Molecular Informatics” program that moves data processing and storage to the molecular level. Instead of using zeros and ones these molecular computers would use qualities like size, orientation, and color to process and store massive amounts of data.

If the molecular approach to computing is accepted, computer science would likely shift from a discipline within electrical engineering to a specialty of chemical engineering. In addition, there would no longer be a need for traditional circuit boards and other computer components. Most, if not all, of the current computer programming languages would be obsolete.

With the possibility of such a radical change, one wonders how education needs to morph to prepare our children for the new paradigm. Sadly, it is impossible to predict the exact direction technology will take. As a result, it is impossible for schools to develop a curriculum that provides the perfect preparation for the workplace.

Rather than trying to chase each new advance, it is probably best to encourage children to build an strong understanding of foundational subjects like chemistry, physics, biology, reading, writing, speaking, and creative problem solving. This way they will have the building blocks to adapt whether computer science is electrical, biological, chemical, or some blend.

Strange as it may seem, basic is better when the pace of technological change accelerates.

How do we prepare students for the future? Focus on experiential competencies

Education Dive – Monique Fuchs

” As educators, we constantly evaluate whether our programs and curricula prepare students sufficiently for the current and projected needs of industries. That fact has never been more true as new graduates face a fast-changing workforce and education is now preparing students for jobs that don’t even exist yet.” (more)

Finding Entrepreneurial Solutions To The Career Education Pipeline Problem

Forbes – Derek Newton

“Many colleges and universities don’t make much effort to teach skills that can land someone a well-paying job, without the four-year degree. Preparing students for careers in electronics, medical support, coding and data, IT, manufacturing, infrastructure and trades, as examples, has often been left to others. That hands-off approach to career training has created a confusing patchwork of for-profit career schools, community colleges with varying degrees of attention to career education, job-sponsored training programs, apprenticeships and other approaches.” (more)