No. 36: Internet-savvy Gen Z lacking digital skills for work
Digital native's screen time doesn't translate to digital skills needed for school and work
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First, some numbers:
0 - When asked what information does Facebook store about us and where is it? Two veteran Facebook engineers testified: They don’t know.
47% - of all of Europe are under drought warning conditions. Watch the time-lapse.
50% - Almost half of American workers say they’re “quiet quitting” - doing the bare minimum at work.
Members of Gen Z may be internet-savvy, but many still need lessons in academic tech tools
When Wendy Schatzberg, an associate professor at Utah Tech University, was teaching introductory chemistry, she thought her students would know how to use basic Microsoft Office tools like Excel and Word.
But she found that assumption was wrong.
Though today’s young people have gained a reputation as “digital natives,” that doesn’t always translate to having the digital skills that are needed to succeed in college. In a 2021 survey from the College Innovation Network, 20 percent of students at four-year colleges said they struggled learning new edtech tools. And professors report that some students even have trouble using more fundamental computer programs to write essays or run calculations.
Read Teaching Digital Native College Students via EdSurge
What makes a “good education”?
I found this excerpt written by a college counselor in 2001 still relevant to parents today.
The funny thing about teenagers is that very often the best of them, the most interesting and curious, are rather lousy high school students. They have other things on their minds than geeking out every single point on the AP U.S. history exam. They are very often readers, and preparation for elite-college admission does not allow one to be a reader; it's far too time consuming. These "lousy" students were often among my favorites, and I never feared that they were going to lose a chance at a great education because they didn't have the stuff of an "elite" admission. They themselves were smart. They didn't need some Ferrari of a college nudging them along the path to a great education; they were going to get one wherever they went.
Quoted from Confessions of a Prep School College Counselor via The Atlantic
Do not keep Candyland in your hom
I played lots of Candyland growing up. I wonder how long it took to de-program myself from its effects. The following is taken from Seth Godin’s book, Linchpin, which he titles “The Candyland Decree”.
Author Steven Johnson hates the board game Candyland and all board games like it. I hate them even more than he does.
‘I realize that games of pure chance have a long history, but that doesn’t make them any less moronic,’ he writes. He’s how Candyland is played: You pick a card and do what it says. Repeat.
This is early training in agenda following. Indoctrination in obedience. We teach kids that the best way to win is to mindlessly pick cards, follow instructions, and wait for it all to turn out okay.
Sheesh. What a disaster.
My decree: If you own a copy, burn it. Replace it with Cosmic Encounters or chess or a big box filled with wooden blocks. Please don’t look at school or even board games the same way again. If they’re teaching your kids or future employees to be map readers and agenda followers, make them stop.
- Seth Godin, Linchpin
Revisit past issues:
No: 14 - Permissionless apprenticeships
No: 8 - Is college worth it?
No: 28 - Don’t underestimate stupid
Till next time…
Constraints are a gift because they bring us something to lean against, and they give us the chance to focus on work we can actually do.
Image: Gilles Lambert