Get Your Students Ready for High Tech Planet

11/20/2009  |  Ruth Herman Wells, M.S
Problem Solved

If your students are lost in cyberspace, it’s past time to get them ready for the High Tech Planet we live on today. So many students believe that they’ll be able to slide by without an education and skills. Here are powerful, innovative interventions that challenge this belief by revealing the new realities of our ever more high tech world. Each issue, this column includes free worksheets and this issue is no exception. Check out these attention-grabbing handouts.
No one on High Tech Planet is more vulnerable to unemployment than dropouts. They have the least amount of education and skills — which are the pre-requisites for success in Cyberspace.

Meet the Competition

So many of your students are certain that they will always be able to find some type of work even if they lack a diploma and skills.This handout, which can also be used as a poster, is often able to impact resistant students when mere verbiage and logic can’t.The worksheet shows a laptop. On the laptop screen, it says “Will Work for Electricity.”Thecaption says “Any JobYou Can Do Without a Diploma, a Computer Can Do Better.”You may wish to ask your students to name all the jobs that people can do without a diploma. Next, ask your students to describe how a computer can do the job now, or might be able to do the job in the future. For example, a student might say,“I can always deliver the newspaper even if I have no diploma or skills.”Encourage have a bad attitude,“mouth off,”or ask for a raise. Discuss with the class who employers might prefer: humans or computers. Get this worksheet free from SEEN Magazine and Youth Change Workshops by visiting http://www.

Speak the Language on High Tech Planet

Discover if your students can even talk the talk on High Tech Planet. Have them explain each of the following terms. If they don’t know the answers, perhaps an online search will reveal the answers to them. Here is the cyber jargon for your students to de-code; feel free to add your own: ISP, phishing, Mailer Daemon, domain, server, bluetooth, DSL, HTML, Mac, Firefox,Vista, PDF, .docx, PowerPoint, virus, feed, cgi, RSS, blog, wiki, jpg, ebook, PDA, USB, crash, XP, firewall. Discuss with your class how long an adult could last in Cyberspace without knowing the words listed above.

Dropouts Needed for High Paying Jobs

No one on High Tech Planet is more vulnerable to unemployment than dropouts. They have the least amount of education and skills — which are the pre-requisites for success in Cyberspace. This worksheet is geared for older students and is quite forceful, but it may be better to use a potent intervention than let students attempt life without a diploma and skills. This attention-grabbing intervention may slow students from dropping out or sleeping through school. It’s a Help Wanted classified ad that says: “Drop Outs Needed for High Paying Jobs. Must lack experience and skills. Can’t read well? Can’t write? No computer skills? No problem!” If you think this intervention is too intense for your age group, then alter the text to be more gentle or completely different. This intervention isn’t just a terrific worksheet, it also makes a dynamite poster that can chip away at students who are tracking towards dropping out. Get this unusual device free from SEEN Magazine and Youth Change at strategies.html.

Facts or Factories?

Factory worker was a booming job about 100 years ago, growing at a rate of about 80 percent annually. Today, factories are largely automated, but one job that still requires a human is ISM. First, ask your students to identify this job. Second, ask students to identify what kind of work ISMs do. Here’s a hint: It’s one of the fastest growing jobs right now. Here are the answers: The letters are an acronym for Information Systems Manager. ISMs oversee computer systems, projects, and databases of information and facts. This job is increasing at the rate of nearly 80 percent each year. Discuss with your class members: Will you have the skills to survive in the last century or the century you are living in? Also discuss: Where will the jobs be — Facts or Factories?

Ruth Herman Wells, M.S. is the Drector of Youth Change Workshops, E-mail Ms. Wells at [email protected] or call 800-545-5736. For more interventions visit
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