Free Technology For Teachers: Are the Skills of Digital Natives Going to Waste?

On there is an interesting article about a recent study in which recent college graduates were asked how often their technology skills are used in their daily jobs. The study found that more than 80% of graduates had learned and felt comfortable using common computer applications, but only about 50% actually have to use those skills at work. The article’s target audience is clearly business managers, but the article still has some good lessons for educators. Click here to read the full article.

Applications for Educators
This article got me thinking about how many high school students have common technology skills (spreadsheet, PowerPoint, basic code writing, podcasting) that do not get utilized in school, but could be utilized in school. Take a quick survey of high school students and see how many of them can embed a video into a web site. Or ask how many high school students can name three ways to collaborate online. You will probably be surprised at how many of them have those skills. Then ask the same students how many times they have to use those skills at school. You will be surprised how few times they have to use basic technology skills.

Letting students use and show-off the technology skills they have can be a great way to engage students in their learning. When one of my special education students recently showed a regular education student how to embed a video into the wiki the class is creating, the look of pride in the special education student’s eyes was amazing. Take advantage of the technology skills your students have, the results may surprise you.

Here is a quick reminder of what today’s students are doing with technology.


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