Home Alone in a Flat World

For one of the first times since we've been married, I'm home alone for the weekend. As much as I'm enjoying not fighting for the covers, I can't wait until Josh comes home tomorrow.

Anyway, while he's been gone, I've been catching up on some reading. I've been hearing about Friedman's The World is Flat for a while now, but with the job situation last semester I didn't have time to sit down and read the book.

I've only made it through a couple of chapters, but the premise of the book is that technology is leveling the playing field. My biggest question as I read is what does this mean for me and my students? Though we teach our students to use Word and remind them to never use Wikipedia (ha!), I'm not sure we're really teaching them the skills they need to make it in the world. In fact, many of my students know little about computers other than how to get around the firewall!

I'd love to get some input from others on what our students need to know when they enter college and the "real" world:

1) Should we be blocking technologies like Skype in our schools? We could be talking to experts around the world, but instead we block any type of chat or webconferencing tool for the safety of our students.

2) Which software programs (including web-based apps) are most important for our students?

3) What was most useful for you in high school? Which skills do you still actually use?

4) What are the essentials students need to know to get a job (and keep it)?


posted by Amber on 2:56 PM