Telecom Support for Tech Education — My Critique

Telecom Support for Tech Education

USTelecom Media

06.20.2014

<< http://www.ustelecom.org/blog/telecom-support-tech-education >>

In today’s growing digital environment, one of the keys to building a successful workforce depends upon the ability to adapt and utilize technology. [I agree but humans have adapted to live almost everywhere on the planet and have been to the moon. Adaptation is what we do. We adapt by learning to use tools. Whether it is a hammer or a computer. A few years ago a local, Austin, Texas, news story showed a group of octogenarians learning to use the computer. If they can be taught so can most of society, especially the young, since they use so much at home. Because this technology is so ubiquitous it need not be taught in school, K-12. ] To contribute to this effort, a number of the nation’s telecom providers are supporting programs and initiatives to enhance education and training, from the development of tech sector job skills to providing teachers with the tools they need to more effectively utilize technology in the classroom. [Yes, to drum up business.]

According to an article appearing in The Wall Street Journal, the online education platform Udacity, in partnership with AT&T, recently launched the technology curriculum NanoDegrees. The program is designed to provide students with entry-level software skills. A select group of NanoDegrees graduates will also have the opportunity to participate in AT&T’s paid internship program, furthering their education with hands-on job training. This effort builds on an earlier AT&T collaboration with Georgia Tech and Udacity to offer the country’s first Online Master of Science degree in computer science. [Granted this is not the same but I got a Master of Science Computer Information Systems in 2000, completely online.]

Meanwhile Cisco, which offers an array of certification programs that build skills specific to its technologies, has an online assessment tool to help people determine whether a career in IT is right for them. [Myers-Briggs Personality Types has been around since about 1962. It is an extrapolation of their research done during WWII and based on Carl Jung’s work, published in English in 1923. They were trying to figure out how to put women to work based on their personalities, in WWII. So, Cisco is trying to do what and what for? It has been done many times over. Myers-Briggs is one way.] Additionally, for those inclined to grow their knowledge of networking, Cisco offers an array of interactive games that serve as entry-level guides as well as certification practice exams for those further along in their training.

Building a tech-ready workforce also means focusing efforts in middle and high schools. [No it does not! First of all, we do not need a tech ready workforce, at least not to build one. The company you go to work at should train you on their technology, if and as necessary. Since most companies have a different set-up, how can you train the masses on the very large number of software/hardware combinations? It is impossible. Proponents of technology in K-12 education point to the PISA test and Finland, at the time number 1. If you want to emulate them then technology must go. Finland does not use computers and software to teach their young. Why do we?] To this end, the Verizon Foundation is engaged with a public-private partnership to facilitate greater use of technology in order to improve student achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. Over a three-year period, the foundation will invest up to $100 million in current and new initiatives to enhance educators’ professional development with the ultimate goal of accelerating student achievement in STEM. [Number one–Why is it that some think that adding more STEM courses, in High School and Middle School, or using technology more will necessarily lead to more STEM college graduates? Number two—There is NO STEM shortage. There is a glut of college graduates in general, as well as in STEM. Why are the rich pushing this agenda? Do they want the young to get hooked on technology? It is working! People stand in line overnight waiting for the store to open so that they can be the first to get the new piece of garbage technology that comes out—their new toy! Being able to use it is one thing, designing—engineering is something else entirely. Most can learn to use technology without teaching it in schools.] Sharing a similar objective, the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation offers a Teachers and Technology program that provides grants to teachers in K-12 schools, enabling them to learn more about effectively utilizing technology to advance student education. [Yes brainwashing the teachers, too. Proponents of this say that when technology in education fails it is because the teachers/schools failed to use it right. Kind of a circular logic here! So, more training of teachers is necessary according to proponents.]

The Information Communications and Technology (ICT) sector is a powerful economic engine that continues to add jobs and bring innovative new technologies to the marketplace. Programs such as these, available online and offline, build important skill sets in an accessible, cost-effective way, [They build fleeting ‘skills’ which are fads at best. By the time they are trained, the technology has changed. Cost-effective? There is no proof of this.] and fuel the workforce [fuel the consumers you mean–] of the future.

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