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Skills of the Future! [Feb. 27th, 2007|06:26 pm]
There's an interesting report on Alertbox (Jakob Nielsen's website/blog about usability) that makes some suggestions about the computer skills that kids should be learning in school. It's not things like "how to use Word", but high-level skills. I'll summarize:

* Search strategies
* Dealing with information overload
* Evaluating information credibility
* Writing for online readers
* Computerized presentation skills
* Workspace ergonomics
* Debugging
* Basics of usability

They're obviously biased by his professional viewpoint, but I think they still capture some important ideas.

The first three are basically "how to look for what you need to know and then sort out what's good from what's crap". Writing and presentation (and to some extent, usability) are basically "how to communicate appropriately in different media", and I definitely think that's lacking. Ergonomics and overload (and usability again, I suppose) could also be regarded as "how to manage the constraints of being a human when using technology", and that's certainly of growing importance. And the basics of debugging -- how to do methodical trouble-shooting when something goes wrong -- is so important I'm kind of surprised it's not already taught.

What do you guys think? What hard-won skills do you have that should be passed on to future generations?

[User Picture]From: ciddyguy
2007-02-28 01:51 am (UTC)
Those are indeed all good suggestions, however, #2 and #3 are really, really important as it goes back to critical thinking skills in general - in just about everything we do, be it read the paper, watch local news etc.

And I do agree that not all that's out there, especially on the 'net is credible and knowing that will make it easier to sift the crap for the good stuff.

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