Thursday, March 27, 2008

Microsoft Prepares Students for 21st Century Careers

I’m at Microsoft’s Partners in Learning briefing where Allyson Knox is presenting on a program to help ALL students determine what they want to do with their future and how to prepare for it. This 20 – 25 hour experience can be its own separate class or part of classes such as Economics or Global Studies. The program looks robust and it has fabulous materials and resources. The course allows facilitators to collect pre and post surveys so you can analyze the growth of participants. Below is an overview of the program which they have created to prepare students for careers in the 21st Century called Career Forward.

The CareerFoward program takes on the challenge of assisting young people as they prepare for careers in the global market that is impacting their lives now and in the future. Technology, along with many other factors, has leveled job prospects for people all over the world. Career opportunities are more diverse than they used to be, and students today need to be introduced to the growing global competition that they will face. Most important, they need motivation to plan and see the education that is so crucial for their futures. This program is designed to provide a framework for students and teachers to use as they explore possibilities and learn how to prepare for the future. The program contains about 20 hour-long online sessions using personal reflection and activities and gives each student an independent exploration of the possibilities for their future that will allow them to move on and create an Educational Development Plan (EDP).

Amazingly this program is available and it’s materials are available and accessible for use at for teachers to begin using with their classes today. Microsoft recommends using the program with High School students but several participants attending the briefing thought this would also work well in middle school. You can see how Michigan put this program into action at their Michigan Virtual School website.

I encourage you to take a look at this program and think about where it fits in the school(s) with which you work? Please share your comments, thoughts, and ideas on how this may be beneficial in your environment or if you have used the program please share your feedback.

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