[Pedagogy-list] OpEd: Education is not preparing students for a fast-changing world

Zinn, John jzinn at richmond.edu
Wed Sep 26 15:38:28 EDT 2018

Thanks for sharing this interesting piece, Daniel.  


The article supports what I consistently hear in the community.  Business leaders and entrepreneurs cite various statistics regarding the percentage of jobs in 2030 that are yet to be created and they champion the increasingly urgent need for digital literacy.  They also question what Higher Ed institutions are doing to address the issue.  Students need to leave college, it is argued, with strong digital literacy competencies and, based on their experience, should be committed to lifelong learning.  Nearly a quarter of the way in, we are no longer preparing citizens for the 21st Century, but rather mid-century (2025-2075) careers.  That’s a sobering thought and a critical paradigm shift for educators.  

Here are a few resources:


2017 Digital Literacy Impact Study

An interesting place to start.  This report is attached.  


2018 Horizon Report

The 2018 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report is also attached as a PDF.


Digital Literacy in the Workplace

This new video from Deaken University briefly highlights what students should expect in the workplace.  To paraphrase the video, technology is deeply imbedded in work.  It is also increasingly important in the digital lives of our students.  How are we leveraging technology in their SPCS experience?  


Technology is just one piece of the puzzle.  We can’t simply say we use Blackboard and require our students to produce a Powerpoint presentation.  That is so ‘1999’.  Blackboard was founded in 1997 and a Powerpoint presentation was an eighth-grade competency for Henrico County students in the mid 1990s.  Changing the way students collaboratively collect, access, and analyze data is part of the challenge.  Our task is to help them learn how to create new information and products in innovative ways.  







John A. Zinn, III

Director of Enrollment Management 
and Strategic Partnerships / Adjunct Professor
School of Professional & Continuing Studies
University of Richmond
28 Westhampton Way
University of Richmond, Virginia 23173
phone: 804-287-6378
fax: 804-289-8138




"Be a yardstick of quality.  Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."  -  Steve Jobs




From: <pedagogy-list-bounces at richmond.edu> on behalf of "Hocutt, Daniel" <dhocutt at richmond.edu>
Reply-To: "SPCS Community of Practice: Pedagogy" <pedagogy-list at richmond.edu>
Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 10:26 AM
To: "SPCS Community of Practice: Pedagogy" <pedagogy-list at richmond.edu>
Subject: [Pedagogy-list] OpEd: Education is not preparing students for a fast-changing world


This Boston Globe column, written by Ann Kirschner, university professor at the City University of New York and dean emerita of Macaulay Honors College at CUNY; and Dana Born, codirector for the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and professor emerita and former dean of the United States Air Force Academy, offers insight into what the authors lament is a graduation gap, an employment gap, and a skills gap in the U.S. system of education:


Today’s students need to prepare themselves for job descriptions yet unwritten. In the VUCA environment [“VUCA stands for ‘volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous,’ a handy shortcut used by the military to describe these uncertain times], there is no robot-proof major. Instead, students need to steer a course between “Will” and “Watson,” between the humanities and social sciences (as represented by William Shakespeare) and computational thinking and STEM fields (as represented by IBM Watson). This is not merely our wishful cheerleading for literature and history. The skills they foster — critical thinking, clear communications, empathy, and self-awareness — are what employers consistently promote as essential characteristics for job candidates.


But the ultimate skill is the ability to learn how to learn. The goal of continuous, lifelong learning is implicit in everything that happens in education. We need to make it explicit and intentional and respected as the most important preparation for an uncertain world. That readiness for a lifetime of learning is the “mission accomplished” of education. (emphasis added)


How do we in SPCS teach adult and nontraditional students the skill of learning how to learn? What frameworks, strategies, and professional development opportunities do we need to make this happen at UR? Share what you’re thinking — it’ll help shape the direction of this Community of Practice and will provide a roadmap for the rest of the school and university to follow.





Daniel L. Hocutt, R’92 & G’98

Web Manager & Adjunct Professor

School of Professional & Continuing Studies

Special Programs Building 215

University of Richmond, VA 23173

o. (804) 287-6658 f. (804) 289-8138

dhocutt at richmond.edu


Community Coordinator,
SPCS Pedagogy Community of Practice


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