IT skills expectations for students

following directions

Used with permission from Microsoft.

I’m in the process of drafting a document on the IT expectations we will have for graduate students in our new MA in Education: Educational Technology program.  I’m tempted toward simply adopting Doug Johnson’s “6 technology skills expected of all [high school] freshmen”:

  1. Word processing
  2. Spreadsheet use and graphing
  3. Multimedia presentation software and digital image handling
  4. Online communications
  5. Internet-enabled research
  6. Managing one’s online presence (new 2013)

Doug recently posted a series about each of these on his Blue Skunk Blog.  See the links in the list above for details about each expectation.

Doug also has shared his work on this as a Google Doc under a  Creative Commons license here.

Doug’s introduction suggests assessing student abilities in reference to these expectations early on in their freshman year and then offering remediation through classes offered by the library.  That’s kind of where expecation lists like this tend to get stuck… What if a student doesn’t have these skills?  I like his idea to employ the library in the offering of remediation classes for high schoolers.

In the case of our graduate programs, especially a degree program meant for serious ed tech leaders, should a shortcoming in these skills disqualify someone from admission into the program?  Do we offer some sort of remediation, or arrange to offer remediation through a third party service?  My current thinking is to communicate a set of IT expectations in  advance of admission and let potential students self-sort themselves.  Am I trusting people too much to honestly assess their own skills? Still need to do some thinking on this.

Posted in Higher education, K-12 Educational technology Tagged with: , , ,