By David Knapp,
Loveland City School District director of technology
Does the year 2032 ring any bells for any of you? If you have a child in kindergarten this year, it should – for this is the year your child will be graduating college…
One of my favorite statistics that I like to allude to when speaking to the importance of thinking differently in regards to education these days, refers to the future our students face once they embark on their own careers. According to a study conducted by the United States Department of Labor recently, 65 percent of today’s grade school students will end up in a job or career that has yet to be invented. that means for us in education (those people who work so hard to ensure that your children are ready for that future job or career when they leave our doors), is that we don’t really know exactly what we are preparing our students for. For most of us, that’s a scary thought, especially considering traditional education has been grounded in the acquisition and knowledge of specific skills and facts for hundreds of years. When we don’t know exactly the jobs and careers that will exist in 10 years, it’s hard to say for certain what exactly our students will need to know – which is why it’s not so much about knowing anymore as it is about asking and then doing.
Here across the Loveland City School District, our teachers, administrators and staff work tirelessly to [quote_left]What “What does that tomorrow look like and how exactly will we prepare our students for it?[/quote_left]help prepare our students for tomorrow, today. As the director of technology, I am privileged with the task of extending that line of thinking and asking, “What does that tomorrow look like and how exactly will we prepare our students for it?” Although nobody can (or should) claim to answer that question correctly, what we can do is prepare our students to be well versed in the art of collaboration, communication, critical thinking and most importantly, how to think creatively. Those are marketable skills. In fact, Fortune 500 managers recently told LinkedIn they are looking for prospective future employees to be adaptable, strong oral communicators, tech-savvy and creative.
By structuring a learning environment and providing access to 21st century learning tools and devices, we are allowing our students the opportunity to engage with their learning and with resources across the world in ways which most of us who graduated years ago would have never thought possible. By making available the 1,800 plus Chromebooks and Android tablets that our students now have access to, our students are provided these opportunities not to answer the what, but to ask and answer the how and the why, with the power to achieve this on a global scale.
And this is just the beginning of so many more great things to come here in Loveland…stay tuned.