How to get a job — by Thomas L. Friedman

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Underneath the huge drop in demand that drove unemployment up to 9 percent during the recession, there’s been an important shift in the education-to-work model in America. Anyone who’s been looking for a job knows what I mean. It is best summed up by the mantra from the Harvard education expert Tony Wagner that the world doesn’t care anymore what you know; all it cares “is what you can do with what you know.” And since jobs are evolving so quickly, with so many new tools, a bachelor’s degree is no longer considered an adequate proxy by employers for your ability to do a particular job — and, therefore, be hired. So, more employers are designing their own tests to measure applicants’ skills. And they increasingly don’t care how those skills were acquired: home schooling, an online university, a massive open online course, or Yale. They just want to know one thing: Can you add value?

People get rejected for jobs for two main reasons, said Sharef. One, “you’re not showing the employer how you will help them add value,” and, two, “you don’t know what you want, and it comes through because you have not learned the skills that are needed.” The most successful job candidates, she added, are “inventors and solution-finders,” who are relentlessly “entrepreneurial” because they understand that many employers today don’t care about your résumé, degree or how you got your knowledge, but only what you can do and what you can continuously reinvent yourself to do.


From DSC:

So how about it? Are the students coming out of K-12 and higher ed prepared for this changing workplace? If not, how can we better prepare them? It seems to me we should require that each student create their own business — and help them build it before they graduate.  It doesn’t matter if that business makes any money at all.  What matters is the learning/experiences that the students would gain.

Also, to folks in the corporate world, help us get students to the places you need them to be — and stop expecting the”purple unicorns” to show up at your doorstep.  Adjust your expectations and aim for a higher purpose than pleasing the shareholder/Wall Street.

From DSC:
I’ve been pondering the question…”Should we put students more in charge of selecting and/or creating the content?” And I’m thinking, absolutely.  We may be surprised at the results. They’ll own their learning more when they have more choice, more control over what they are working on. Give them real-world problems to solve. Enlist multiple disciplines (writing, art, music, computer science, engineering, mathematics, business skills, etc.). Active, project-based learning. Enlist web-based collaboration and teams — take on a project with a classroom 1/2 way around the world.

Some relevant items:

7th graders publish their own textbook — from by Tony Vincent



Also see:

  • Readz launches to provide publishers DIY solution to optimize content for tablets — from by Humayun Khan
  • 7 outstanding free books for your iPad — from
    Below is a list of some excellent books for your iPad. I have curated this list over  the last couple of months and I kept adding to it every time I stumble upon a resource somewhere online.I don’t know if you like reading books on your iPad or not but let me tell you this: having at least a couple of titles installed on your iPad would really be of great help particularly in those moments when you are stuck somewhere and have nothing to do but waiting. Reading is a habit ( luckily a good one ) that we can ACQUIRE  by force of habituation at least in the eyes of Skinnerian theory.The more you read , the fluent you get at reading and the more used your mind becomes to the act of reading.  Check out these books I selected for you. All of them are free and require iBooks. Enjoy.


Addendum on 1/22/13:



From DSC: I originally saw this at
Mindstorms EV3: LEGO Education unveils its next generation robotics platform
from by Audrey Watters

The  article, “Technology changing how students learn, teachers say,” reminds me of the graphic below. It appears that teachers now have a definite answer to the question I was asking back in June 2010:


If attention can be visualized as a it getting harder to get through the gate?


Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Teachers who were not involved in the surveys echoed their findings in interviews, saying they felt they had to work harder to capture and hold students’ attention.

“I’m an entertainer. I have to do a song and dance to capture their attention,” said Hope Molina-Porter, 37, an English teacher at Troy High School in Fullerton, Calif., who has taught for 14 years. She teaches accelerated students, but has noted a marked decline in the depth and analysis of their written work.


Bottom line:
Like so much in life, we have very little control of most things. Students are changing and we cannot control that situation — nor should we seek to. Why? Because most people I know — including myself — do not like to be controlled.  We can and should attempt to pulse check these sorts of changes, plan some experiments around them, and then see and report on what works and what doesn’t work.  This all relates to something I saw on earlier today on Twitter from Anya Kamenetz (@anya1anya):

If you declare a no-media classroom, you better be damn fascinating.



Also, a relevant quote:

The biggest problem area for teachers is students’ attention span, with 71% saying saying entertainment media use has hurt students either “a lot” (34%) or “somewhat” (37%) in that area.

— from Children, Teens, and Entertainment Media: The View From The Classroom
A Common Sense Media Research Study – NEW REPORT
November 1, 2012
Download the full report

How student help desks support mobile devices — from by Tanya Roscorla


The help desk staff members each have a title, role and responsibilities. They solve problems for students and staff in-person, but they also update a blog with videos that address common issues they see.


Also see:

  • Why learning should be messy — from by Nikhil Goyal
    “Today’s problems — from global poverty to climate change to the obesity epidemic — are more interconnected and intertwined than ever before and they can’t possibly be solved in the academic or research ‘silos’ of the twentieth century,” writes Frank Moss, the former head of the M.I.T. Media Lab. Schools cannot just simply add a “creativity hour” and call it a day.

Universal Design for Learning: It’s Not Just for Disability Experts Anymore (The Confessions of a First-Time Teacher) — from National Collaborative on Workforce & Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) by Amy Katzel


All students, with or without disabilities, have different strengths and weaknesses. Early on, it was clear to me that I had a wide range of abilities in the room. Some students started out unable to consistently construct full sentences, while others were already writing complex prose. Some students raised their hand frequently to answer questions, while others preferred to stay quiet. When we did reading assignments during class, everyone read at different speeds. Some youth demonstrated they understood the material on quizzes, but then struggled with applying those concepts to their essays.

When I get up in front of the class, to which student am I teaching?

Also see:


From DSC:
I originally saw this at:


Of course, the future belongs to the young. You get a decent look at it ahead of time, though, by watching how they build new ways seize it.

Earlier today a 17 year old named Priyanka Jain launched a student run nonprofit called iCAREweCARE, which is dedicated to helping high school and college students identify causes they care about, find local organizations that address those problems, and then write about their experiences,  or connect with their friends over them. There is a Web site, and Facebook connections for rapid and deep information sharing.

The cause-centered orientation is praiseworthy. The implications of this kind of social platform, however, could be what proves really world-changing

John Hunter on the World Peace Game — TED March 2011 — my thanks to Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Kate Byerwalter for this great presentation


TED Talks -- John Hunter presents the World Peace Game -- March 2011

About this talk
John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4’x5′ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can.

About John Hunter
Teacher and musician John Hunter is the inventor of the World Peace Game (and the star of the new doc “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements”).



Why so few computer science majors? — from by Jenna Johnson

The lives of college students revolve around technology — yet not enough are studying computer science to keep up with industry demand.

Computer science programs across the country are scrambling to change this, often by trying to make coursework more relevant to the lives of students. One example, which I wrote about in today’s paper, is a professor at Virginia Tech who helped his students create a mobile application that tracks city buses.

But why the lack of interest in CS in the first place?

Here are just a few reasons, according to several professors and others I interviewed for the piece. (I know there are additional reasons, so please share them with me in the comments section.)

Many don’t realize the world-changing potential of CS.


Also see:


Computer science courses use mobile apps to make coursework relevant — from The Washington Post

The Virginia Tech student’s concern about buses, Tilevich said, offered a chance to show students that coding can be relevant. By the end of the semester, the advanced software engineering class had partnered with the city transit system to obtain data from Global Positioning System devices on dozens of city buses. An algorithm soon was predicting arrival times and beaming the information to a prototype mobile application.

“Sometimes as faculty members, we have to step back. We have to let them run wild,” said Tilevich, a former professional clarinet player who blogs about his teaching experiments.

Originally saw this at


Project-based learning from BEI


Also see this video on project-based learning:


— Originally saw this from Tim Hawkins, in Melbourne, Australia

© 2024 | Daniel Christian