As educators, we are no longer the great purveyors of information because students do not need us for facts. Most students have a device in their hand or have access to a device, which means they can get the information they need with the click of a button. But we serve a more important role: we teach students how to search for valid information and transform it into a useable format. We must challenge students to use the information at their fingertips in innovative ways and to help them think critically about that information. Reading, writing and arithmetic were the basic skills needed by past generations. Today, basic skills in technology literate. Students who leave school with an industry recognized credential have a validation of skills learned that can help them get jobs or into higher education. In a world of global competition for jobs or entrance into college, earning certification puts students one step closer to their goals, with proven technology skills, whether they are entering post-secondary education or an entry-level job.
Jim Lengel earned his degrees at Yale College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education and has worked in government, academic, and industry organizations for 42 years. Jim began his career as a public school teacher in Vermont, where he worked his way to the post of Deputy Commissioner of Education, and was appointed to a Fulbright Scholarship in China. Jim taught at Boston University and developed the digital media program at the College of Communication. Jim continues as a professor at Hunter College of the City University of New York, while consulting with organizations around the world on the application of new technologies to teaching and learning. Jim has authored nine books on education and communication, including Education 3.0 from Teacher's College Press, publishes a weekly column and podcast on teaching with technology at PowerToLearn.