A lot of us (or should I say I?) frame the conversation around Read/Write Web tools in schools in the context of this very blurry future that our kids are entering into, one that despite its lack of clarity is decidedly different from today. In my own case, I tend to frame this through my parenting lens, that it doesn’t feel like the system is preparing my kids for their futures very well even though we don’t exactly know what that future looks like.

So yesterday here in balmy Toronto, I got asked the question directly: even though we can’t be certain about what the future looks like in terms of preparing our kids for it, what, generally speaking, do we know? What general characteristics can we assume in terms of rethinking our curriculum and our practice?

I threw some ideas out, some of which I’ve tried to articulate below. It’s difficult on many levels…are we talking about what they need to know in terms of education? Their profession? Environmentally? From a citizenship standpoint? But truth be told, I’ve been mulling the idea of this post for a while now, so I’d appreciate any sage answers you might be willing to contribute as well. (Come to think of it, this sounds like a potential Tweet…)

Our kids’ futures will require them to be:

  • Networked–They’ll need an “outboard brain.”
  • More collaborative–They are going to need to work closely with people to co-create information.
  • More globally aware–Those collaborators may be anywhere in the world.
  • Less dependent on paper–Right now, we are still paper training our kids.
  • More active–In just about every sense of the word. Physically. Socially. Politically.
  • Fluent in creating and consuming hypertext–Basic reading and writing skills will not suffice.
  • More connected–To their communities, to their environments, to the world.
  • Editors of information–Something we should have been teaching them all along but is even more important now.

There’s more, obviously. But I’m curious. What would you add? Or what would you push back against?

(Photo “Valencia’s most famous buildings” by cavalierelatino.)

Technorati Tags: ,