For years, tech companies around the world have argued that they cannot diversify their workforce unless the country’s school systems appeal to more students of computer science and related technology fields. Whether you believe this explanation or not, a new survey from CompTIA suggests that educators across the United States want to do more to encourage technology and digital literacy in students.
“Upgrading technology and classroom learning tools (cited by 65% of survey respondents), curriculum updates (58%) and developing post-graduation pathways for graduates students (52%) are some of the steps education professionals would like to take in response to growing student interest in digital culture and technology, ”reads the CompTIA report accompanying the survey, which involved 1,511 teachers, administrators and other educational professionals in middle and high schools in the United States
What will it really take to prepare classrooms to better teach technology and digital literacy? Some 61 percent of those polled said ‘hands-on’ learning tools such as labs and simulations were essential, while 52 percent said teachers needed better materials and training. Another 52% said “relevant material that resonates with students”, while 34% said the resources were related to “employability skills”.
Some 68 percent of those surveyed said their schools’ current technology and digital literacy programs met expectations, while just over half (56 percent) said these programs are a requirement. for students at some point between Grades 7 and 12. “Common courses offered include an introduction to IT and technology (61% of all schools surveyed), IT (54%), an introduction to digital skills and literacy (45%) and programming, coding and software development (41%). adds the report.
For those who are interested in IT, but whose schools may not have the right resources and the right courses, there are also plenty of opportunities online to learn on your own. For example, e-learning portals such as Coursera and Udemy offer mobile applications with access to numerous technological education paths. Amazon, Microsoft and other large companies also offer e-learning opportunities in their respective technologies. Self-study can be an effective way to improve your skills, even if you aren’t getting what you need in the classroom.