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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?

From: hapaxeslegomena
2007-02-28 02:15 am (UTC)
I’ve been thinking about this off and on since my niece was born. The only ones I can remember off the top of my (equally as biased) head are: Introductory linguistics, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. Runners-up would be Standard Arabic and ASL.

Statistics would probably fall under “evaluating information credibility”, as would logic. Basic graphic design might be considered part of presentation and usability.

And enough accounting and finance to invest wisely.
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