The Awareness Lag

1/22/2007 5:00:00 AM

from Technology & Learning

Susan McLester

It was encouraging to see a mid-December Time magazine cover feature,"How to Build a Student for the 21st Century," but at the same time a bit dismaying to recognize that American schools being out of step with modern times is still breaking news to the general public. American schools being out of step with modern times is still breaking news to the general public.

In this month's cover feature, "Measuring Up in a Flat World," Karen Greenwood Henke continues T&L's exploration of how to empower students with 21st century skills. We began in-depth coverage in November 2006 with "The Workforce Readiness Crisis," where we reported on what employers are saying about skill deficiencies of U.S. graduates. This follow-up feature takes a look at the progressive initiatives some education frontrunners across the nation are putting in place to address the challenge of bringing students up to speed for the global workforce.

Along the same lines, a new experimental program, the Mayo Clinic's Classroom of the Future (News & Trends), encourages students to physically move around while learning. Again, it underscores the awareness lag between the ed tech industry and the rest of the population when more than two decades after mobile technologies have liberated students from mandatory "seat time," the active classroom is still considered "futuristic."

Be sure to catch the third installment of our One-to-One series, in which Tom McHale talks about the practicalities of how one Texas district is moving forward with laptop implementation. James Careless walks you through the process of buying a new printer, and in the spirit of continuing coverage of Web 2.0 tools and how they can be harnessed for learning, Lindsay Oishi gives us the scoop on YouTube.

Happy New Year and enjoy the issue!

Susan McLester
Editor in Chief

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