21st Century Skills

The term “21st-century skills” is generally used to refer to certain core competencies such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving that advocates believe schools need to teach to help students thrive in today’s world. In a broader sense, however, the idea of what learning in the 21st century should look like is open to interpretation—and controversy.

This infographic by University of Phoenix details the Top 10 skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century workplace, as well as some insight on how best to acquire them. Take a look… and see if your coursework, extra-curricular activities, internships and volunteer assignments are helping you develop these must-have skills:

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Teaching with technologies

“Teachers will not be replaced by technology, but teachers who don´t use technology will be replaced by those who do”

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

ImageTechnology is changing education offering new resources to engage students in learning and giving them an opportunity to learn about new technological fields, leading to jobs and to a greater understanding of how these fields affect the world.

Technology can benefit learning in so many ways, for instance, it can illustrate procedures, equipment, or situations that students many not have the chance to experience firsthand. The use of gadgets stimulate learner participation because encourage students to interact with material, it extend information access, increase communication among teachers and student, provide feedback, bring the World into the Classroom and Eliminate the need for extensive photocopying and give students more access to classroom materials by managing information.

However, Technology can be used well, or it can be abused. The technology-enabled classroom offers access to information, but it also offers many more distractions. Games on devices, text messaging, email and websites all compete for students’ attention, taking that attention away from the subject on which they are supposed to be focusing.

However, Technology can be used well, or it can be abused. The technology-enabled classroom offers access to information, but it also offers many more distractions. Games on devices, text messaging, email and websites all compete for students’ attention, taking that attention away from the subject on which they are supposed to be focusing.

So, technology can be a great addition to the classroom when it is used to improve student learning and help students reach their goals. The range of technologies is great and increases every day. Of course, teachers have to evaluate the potential effectiveness of a particular technology for each course and students

Workplace of the future

The workplace of the future will be core to business strategy, where adopting the right technology and putting the right policies in place will be key to organizational success. Companies will build and protect amazing cultures that foster diversity, collaboration and innovation while supporting work-life balance and offering employees an element of choice in workplaces and devices.

The traditional office, where people sit statically at dedicated desks working is rapidly being transformed into a highly mobile workplace of the future.

Employees enjoy more flexibility, increased personal productivity, less commuting and a better work-life balance. As they benefit both organizations and employees, mobile work styles are receiving widespread support.

People will work outside the traditional office in places they choose and places where they need to be to do work. Organizations anticipate that, as a result of mobile workstyles, a third of their people will no longer access corporate applications, data and services from the local workplace or office. Workplaces—with fewer dedicated desks, forecast to be almost a fifth smaller—will be redesigned to provide inspiration and encourage collaboration.

A quarter of organizations have already fully adopted mobile workstyles, and this number is expected to rise to 83 percent by the middle of 2014. As we can see organizations are adopting mobile workstyles because they benefit from a more flexible, agile workforce, lower employee-related and real estate costs and the ability to attract and retain top talent. In line with this expectation, organizations are planning to provide just seven desks for every 10 knowledge workers and predict a decrease in overall office workspace of 17 percent by the end of 2020.

Late last year Intel published, The Future of Knowledge Work, a whitepaper resulting from extensive internal and external research and a Future of the Workplace Summit held in Haifa, Israel. This paper provides five key general ideas:

1. The definition of an employee is on the cusp of a transformation. Employee attitudes and expectations for flexibility will influence where, when, and how people work.

2. Dynamic and agile team structures will become the norm, and the default mode of employment will look more like a gun for hire (contractor) than employment structures of the past.

3.The location of work will vary widely . Offices will serve as temporary anchor points for human interaction rather than daily travel destinations. Office as a Service (OaaS) will become a strategic tool to land employees in the right place, at the right time.

4.Smart systems will emerge and collaborate with humans changing the nature of work, and driving a re-imagination of work content and work process.

5. A second wave of consumerization via services, “Servicification”, will usher in changes to corporate IT organizations in a way more impactful then the first.

 

Millennials, who are they?

Lately, a lot of people are talking about a specific young group called Millennials.  But, why is so important to know who and how are they? Well, because is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce.

Millennials, is an abbreviation for millennial generation, is a term used by demographers to describe a segment of the population born between 1980 and 2000 (approximately). Millennials are also known as “Generation Y” or sometimes they are called the Net generation because (at least according to some people) they don’t remember a time when there was no Internet. According to a FORBES’survey, Millennials will make up 36 percent of the work force by 2014 and 46 percent by 2020. So, employers cannot ignore the needs, desires and attitudes of this vast generation.

This young people were wanted and they feel individually and collectively special as a result. They feel connected to their parents and they are optimistic and engaged. However, Millennials are so comfortable with significant parental involvement that they expect parents and college employees resolve their conflicts and protect them. They expect to be engaged in their learning, they do not do well being passive learners.  If you (as a teacher/university) do not have technology that will be part of their learning, they will go somewhere else where they can be engaged with, and interactive with technology.

The trend toward Millennials using IPods and laptop computers rather than desktop computers reflects their preference toward a more portable learning environment. Students value the benefits of online learning including balancing work and class, flexibility in assignments and lower costs, more students are doing virtual internships and more employees are working remotely than ever before. As the world becomes more virtual, it will lower costs and allow more students who couldn’t afford education or don’t want to deal with outrageous students loans to educate themselves.

This generation grew up with technology and relies on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with BlackBerrys, laptops, cellphones and other gadgets they are plugged-in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This generation prefers to communicate through e-mail and text messaging rather than face-to-face contact and prefers webinars and online technology to traditional lecture-based presentations.  

Millennials, are entering the workplace in record numbers. They are idealistic, diverse, digitally-enabled, social and perhaps most importantly, ambitious. While these are all traits that can make a positive impact on your organization, it is a tall task to retain and motivate millennials for a variety of reasons.

A study by UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and the YEC , which is outlined in the graphic below, illustrates the traits that make millennials hirable, and how they differ from previous generations.

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