I have an upcoming meeting at 1871 in Chicago with an app designer. I have never been to 1871 and am excited to go. In my research for this business and #disrupteducation, I was looking into job descriptions focusing on requirements for internships. I found several examples like the following:
You must be working on (or have) a technical or marketing degree or have some other way of demonstrating your business development and marketing inclinations.
A Bachelor’s degree OR equivalent.
The key word I found in many of these descriptions is “demonstrate.” I don’t think we do a great job of teaching students how to actually demonstrate their skills. High schools tend to focus on test scores whether it be an AP score or an ACT / SAT score. That only demonstrates how well a student can take a test or how much help they can afford to take a test. In recent discussions with students, many who did well on the standardized tests had extra funds to invest in a test prep course.
The fact is that internship opportunities are opening applications up beyond just going to college. Being able to demonstrate skills is an advantage to the students who don’t have the means to pay for these test prep courses. In high school, we should look deeper into ways to show students to actually demonstrate what they know. In school, many students are disengaged because they see no value in what they are learning. To a point, I agree with them. That's a whole other blog for later.
Several ways to “demonstrate” knowledge include things like portfolio creation, blog posts and social media brands. While traditional high schools are afraid of cell phones and related social technologies, business is focusing hiring people especially of the younger generation with those skills. Companies are looking more and more into these types of “demonstrators” rather than solely on a degree. Looking at the curriculum in high school, there is not a lot of opportunities outside of electives to actually demonstrate real marketable skills. If we are going to prepare our all our students to have a better opportunity to show their skills, we need to find ways in curriculum that will show more authentic learning and demonstrate skills.
To do this, we need to #disrupteducation.