In about an hour, I'm going to be doing a webcast over on ZDNet's sister site, TechRepublic, with Angela Maiers. We're going to be addressing one of the biggest challenges facing today's schools, educators, students, parents, and even businesses. In a nutshell, things have changed. A lot. Not just in the last few years (which have seen remarkable evolution in our economy, international government structures, and technology, all of which are interconnected) but in the last 100 years since our current system of education was put in place.
"Global economy", "flat world", "knowledge economy", and "21st Century Skills" are all phrases we throw around, but too often students walk out of high school with no better understanding of the ways in which we are interconnected and collaborate in a business setting than their parents did (and, obviously, their parents didn't understand it at all, since the sort of communication/collaboration revolution in which we're living didn't exist when they graduated).
There are very tough questions surrounding the modern education reform movement, not all of which actually addresses global competitiveness in the way that it should. Angela and I will be talking today about some of those questions and, hopefully, getting viewers and readers to begin thinking about their own answers, if they haven't already:
- Are standardized tests (both international and those from the No Child Left Behind era) good measures of our educational system in the context of a "knowledge economy?"
- What is a "knowledge economy" as it relates to students and the job market they'll be facing in the next several years?
- How does globalization relate to the way we educate our students?
- How do you teach leadership, creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship?
- Is everything we're doing too little, too late?