Are you a technologically literate teacher?

blog post title against collage of technology graphics

Could you, for example, walk into the office of a typical small business somewhere in America — a construction company, for example, or an independently-owned convenience store with fewer than 10 workers — and begin work immediately doing routine work, such as answering the phone and taking messages, using the office computer for recording receipts and disbursements, and faxing documents to state agencies?

Naturally, you’ll say you’d need some training. That’s undoubtedly true.

What’s also true, however, is that small business people expect college-educated people to know or be able to pick up very quickly skills that people with a high school education do every day.

I believe that being able to pick up new skills quickly is going to be the most sought-after attribute of 21st century workers.

The last time I tried to hire an editorial assistant for my publishing business, I asked people who’d lived in this community all their lives for suggestions. An ex-teacher was highly recommended.

She was interested in the work and the pay until I told her we use Open Office rather than Microsoft products because that’s what my customers use.

That was a deal breaker.

“I’d have to go take a course to learn how to use it,” she said.

The woman might have been a wonderful teacher, but she didn’t have the technology skills for an entry-level job in a small business.

If you have to go take a training course in a software program before you can use it, you can’t handle an entry-level job in a small business.

Folks, one word processing program is pretty much like another.

And if your skills are up to the challenge of the entry-level work in 2017, can you honestly say you’re able to prepare your students for today’s workplace, let alone tomorrow’s?

Related reading:

Work Experience as Education

The Collaboration Model for Entry Level Jobs

Dear Applicant: The reason you weren’t hired.

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Educational technology, Lifelong learning

2 responses to “Are you a technologically literate teacher?

  1. Joleigh Kirkland

    Many “Boomers” who are retiring and seeking part-time work are sadly missing these necessary skills. Schools need to make teacher training in tech available and required.

    Like

    • Linda Aragoni

      I feel sorry for people who are leaving education and discovering they haven’t skills to do anything that the workplace wants, but I also feel angry that they spent entire careers failing to learn what their students needed to know to enter the workplace. Nobody in the 21st century can say training in technology use isn’t available — much of that training vastly superior to anything schools provide. What we teachers really lack is (1) knowledge of what specific skills we need to learn and (2) determination to learn them on our own.

      Like

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