10 Skills Students Should Graduate With

Yesterday, at the NJEA Technology Integration Institute, I presented the morning Keynote. I shared ten skills I feel that students should graduate with. These skills don’t have anything to do with standardized testing, or memorizing facts, they are just what skills students need to be prepared for college and beyond.

  1. How to determine who is the authority on the Internet
  2. A knowledge of reference sources
  3. Good digital citizenship and the ethical use of information
  4. Where they can go to stay current
  5. Established personal learning networks
  6. Knowing who their teachers and mentors are
  7. To always contemplate responding and interacting with content
  8. That they are content producers
  9. Knowing how to be safe on the internet
  10. Being cognizant of what’s in the pipeline
I had many interesting comments after I was finished presenting. One that particularly stuck with me was about special needs children. Some teachers I spoke with mentioned that the parents of those students didn’t want their work out there for anyone to see. Have you or do you deal with this in your school?
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14 thoughts on “10 Skills Students Should Graduate With

  1. Michelle says:

    I have mixed feelings about this topic. I can understand the need parents have to protect their children. I also know that more than anything, kids just want to belong. Hiding their work because they are children with special needs means they are not producers like their peers are. Is their work any less valid because they have special needs, did they not try as hard or harder than their peers, shouldn’t they have the same chance to have their voices and creativity heard? Many parents don’t see the classroom struggle the way teachers see it, they just see the end result and compare. I hurt for the parents, but want to celebrate the child. Tough call.

    1. I hear you Michelle. When speaking with those teachers that day I suggested posting work that the students were proud of and moderating comments. I think all students should have the opportunity to publish their work.
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Your definition of skill is very unusual, to say the least. Skill usually is defined as demonstrated ability to perform complex activities that typically involve not only cognitive knowledge, but either affective and psychomotor knowledge or both. For example, carpentry and selling are both skills.

    The items you list are not skills by that definition. For example, “That they are content producers” is not a skill. I know that I’m an electricity consumer, but that knowledge is not a skill.

    Here’s a second example. A “knowledge of reference sources” is not a skill. Someone can know all about reference sources—that information can be tested on a bubble test—knowing references sources is not the same as actually using sources to find information.

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