I saw the reference to this report on Joe Wilson’s blog, and found it an interesting read. Amid the rhetoric about the validity of concepts such as Digital Natives, GenY, Net Gen etc. an important issue is often overlooked – the need to address the development of skills and competencies required to work, learn and live online in the future. Too often this debate polarises people and disintegrates into arguments over skills vs integration etc.
The Next Generation User Skills Report focuses on the short term needs, looking at developments in the US, Europe and the UK, and looks at defining a basic set of skills and identifying the gaps that exist in provision. It takes account of:
- Skills that all employers will need, which they may not currently recognise – including web presence, information productivity, market research, infrastructure management
- Skills that people (especially young people) will already have, but which may not be recognised or accredited
- Generic occupational skills that people will need – such as remote working, online communication, information research, lifelong learning and, not least, management of their digital environment
- Essential skills for living and learning in a digital age – including communication, accessing public services and underpinning personal e- confidence.
The report contains some very useful charts and graphs that help illustrate the range of skills required, and where the gaps are. while written to inform what’s happening in the UK context, there’s plenty here that should be of interest to those in NZ who are endeavouring to address similar needs through the development of the multiliteracies framework, and the digital technologies framework etc.