This lack of dialog between the workplace and schools has led to finger pointing and lack of preparedness for students transitioning into the workplace. Some researchers, businesses, and educators have begun to address this gap. But overall, I think there needs to be more dialog between educators and businesses that has nothing to do with, "what skills should workers have?". The dialog should address, "what type of work do you foresee works of the future doing?" "What will the basis be for effective workers be in the future?""How will workers accomplish their work in the future?"
Going into the presentation, I received two posts with suggestions. Basically:
- Students should be taught how to analyze (Ken Allen)
- Students should learn how to access their network in order to answer questions and find information that will help them do their work (Tony Karrer)
- Students should know how to learn without being told and they should be "self-regulated" learners (my interpretation of Mike's comment)
I realize many have spoken about multi-tasking. While there is much debate about multi-tasking helping or hindering work and learning, the fact is little has been said about the opposite: focusing. Are those that are more successful and efficient able to focus in an overstimulated environment? Should we be studying "focus" as opposed to "multi-tasking"? Are these two concepts mutually exclusive?
I know for myself, I am very good at multi-tasking as I am able to prioritize, then focus on those things that I need to pay attention to, while monitoring (yet ignoring) stimulas that will not help me accomplish my work. In addition, I am very good at networking and using the network to save myself time and help find the answers I need. Finally, my high school education (based on more of the college model) forced us to be self-regulated learners, critical thinkers, and life long learners. Many were not able to take the free time alloted us for learning and projects, wasting much of the day. In the long run, they did not do well in school. But those that adapted were very successful in college.
I wonder if the reason we see a rise in such learning disabilities as ADA and ADHD (apart from the fact that there is better diagnosis) is because the work of today requires greater focus. As a result, students that can't focus will develop into workers that can't focus and do their job. As there is more stimuli to the individual, children and adults need to learn how to manage the stimulus in order to be successful.
Finally, I think there needs to be more dialog between schools, policy makers, researchers, and businesses. There are some successful models out there now that need to be replicated at a faster pace.