Do You hear that…It is the sound of our jobs going over seas.

“Our schools are delivering an education that is preparing kids for the information age (the same jobs that are being outsourced)– the problem with that is we are currently transitioning to a new age…the age of conceptualization.”

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach stated the above quote on Niel Rochelle’s blog. I don’t think our schools are there yet. I think schools are not preparing students for the information age. Our schools are still preparing students for industry and in some cases a society still based on agriculture.

Ah…The age of conceptualization. I agree that our students need to be prepared to compete for jobs that have to do with conceptualization. Where on Bloom’s Taxonomy is conceptualization?  I have tried to teach teachers to use technology were they had to create a project that involved a great deal of conceptualizing.   Many teachers can’t do it.  Now I will try to be fair.  You can’t do a project that requires conceptualizing in just a 6 hour one shot professional development secession.  But many teachers that I deal with don’t want to put the mental energy to work that high on Bloom’s Taxonomy.  I guess I can’t blame them.  If I was in a classroom everyday and had to prepare students for high stakes testing and I had a day where I could refresh by learning things, how much effort would I put into it?

I have got to say the number one skill that students need in the 21st century is that ability to communicate.  And we don’t test for that.  I’ve got to say that we have worked with students in our entrepreneurial program.  Students completed, with the aid of a great teacher, a business plan that had to do with real businesses coming into our area.  Students had the opportunity to present to state senators and some real prominent people in our area.  The students had to explain their project.  I will take some blame for this for not knowing the students’ abilities, but the students could not do it.  They did not have the skills to communicate their projects, concepts and ideas.  I felt bad for them.  Communication is where we need to start.

7 Responses to “Do You hear that…It is the sound of our jobs going over seas.”

  1.    Judy Maxson Says:

    I agree. When all is said and done, we are not teaching students how to articulately communicate themselves. Communication comes in so many different forms, yet all we focus on in schools is “the written word”….and honestly, we’re not good at THAT either. When I read student essays, I cringe at the grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Many students don’t know the first thing about good writing.

    I, too, work in the field of technology. While I love technology, I still feel like it has its time and place. Technology should be injected into the curriculum just for the sake of intregrating. There is nothing worse than watching someone ineffectively use technology in the classroom; it wastes valuable instructional time and students learn nothing. I go bananas when I see students spend days working on simple PPT presentations for a given class. Most times, the student spend 90% of their time finding good images and flashy animation sounds NOT on research and development of their idea or project.

    Technology is a powerful instructional tool. Use it wisely.

  2.    rickweinberg Says:

    Judy,
    Thank you for posting to my blog. I have got to say that I agree with everything that you say. I too experience students “doing” PowerPoint for extended periods of time but not know the subject matter they are trying to convey in their PowerPoints. So many teachers try to integrate technology into their lessons by surfing the Internet or adding more bells and whistles on a PowerPoint. Here is the kicker. I think I am a hypocrite. I go into teachers’ classes, help his or her students and even show some “bells and whistles” to go into their PowerPoints. Instead of telling teachers how they should be using technology, I am just happy that teachers are using any technology. So, I go on letting teachers use technology wrong. I even advocate for teachers to use technology and maybe, I guess, I influence teachers to use technology incorrectly.

  3.    Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach Says:

    Thought you might find this interesting…
    I found a related source for the Daniel Pink quote on the move from in the information age to the age of creativity (on page 2)

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.02/brain.html?pg=1&topic=brain&topic_set=

  4.    Judy Maxson Says:

    Regrettfully, this is the first time that I’ve heard the term “age of conceptualization”, although I regularly see that we have reached a pivotal point in Tech Ed. No longer is “getting the technology” the issue. The issue is now “what do we do with the stuff”. Actually, I’m excited about this pending movement.

    Rick, as we saw at NECC, there are lots of vendors but not many major ideas or initiatives. Interestingly, the participants at NECC all looked the same. Everyone walked around with blank looks on their faces and they were searching for the answer to the BIG question: How do I get people to use all this stuff effectivelly? If someone can answer THAT question, then they are the new John Dewey or Horace Mann.

  5.    Rick Weinberg Says:

    Judy…again, thanks for posting to my blog. Sheryl, I have to tell you the article that you linked in a previous post was great. I read the whole article and most of it twice. I am not sure I got everything. I had a professor in undergraduate say, “sometimes things your read are like a brick wall. You might not get all the bricks but you still have a wall.” One of the things I really took away from the article was this quote “To flourish in this age, we’ll need to supplement our well-developed high tech abilities with aptitudes that are ‘high concept’ and ‘high touch.’ I actually had some idea that “high concept” was going to be important in the age of conceptualization. I just didn’t know what the age was called. But I am intrigued by the concept of “high touch.” I have to admit that I got a wake up call when I read most of Freedman’s “The World is Flat.” I don’t remember any discussion in Freedman’s book about empathy and the “high touch.” I did not realize that creating a personal connection and caring for someone was going to be a kinda commodity. I’m kinda glad it is going to be.

  6.    Neil A. Rochelle Says:

    Rick,
    First, congratulations on your first blog. You will see that it provides a vehicle to give you more connections and more information than you may have time to read. I also appreciate the dialogs you’re engaging in on my blog (http://changinghighschools.blogspot.com).
    With respect to communication, I couldn’t agree more. That being said, while we may not have a test for it, doesn’t mean we can’t teach it and provide students with learning opportunities to improve communication. An example would be a project where our AP Euro teacher allowed a student to create a podcast as if the student was a radio broadcaster at the end of World War II. The teacher assessed the knowledge about WWII, the student engaged in a project that was motivating and using a Web 2.0 tool AND the student was using communication skills. It is this type of untraditional learning and demonstration of acquired skills that can teach the 21st Century skills at the same time.

  7.    Rick Weinberg Says:

    Neil, Thanks so much for adding comments to my blog. I really appreciate it. I have got to say that I have already learned a lot from blogging. I have got to know what I’m talking about to blog about it. Your point about communication is well take. I am glad that you agree that the most important skill a students can learn is communication. I guess what I am trying to say is that if there was a New York State test question with some kind of rubric that required students to communicate and speak clearly there would be more incentive for teachers to prepare students for that question. I have some interesting idea about communication. Students constantly texting is not communication to me. It is like communication avoidance. I want to talk more about this in a future posting.

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