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WINNER BEST PAPER IN CONFERENCE AWARD – American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE Zone 1) (2014)

This paper is available in its entirety on IEEE Xplore.

April 21, 2014


TCR’s Center for Advanced Research on Educational Assessment Technologies presented an invited paper on “A Deeper Understanding of Technology is Needed for Workforce Readiness – Playing Games, Texting, and Tweets Aren’t Enough to Make Students Tech-Savvy.”

In this paper, we explore the role of digital learning environments and their impacts on the development of 21st-century technology skills.


Abstract– Technology skills are critical for workforce readiness and are a key predictor of job success. What does it mean to be workforce ready? To answer this question, definitions of workforce readiness and methods used to measure it are examined. Application of these definitions and methods reveals substantial gaps in the national level of work force readiness. These gaps are manifest when students leave school and persist until they retire from the job market. In the National Evaluation Technology Plan (NETP), the Department of Education proposes five (5) goals to address this deficiency. In this paper, these goals are used to conceptualize solutions to improve teaching and learning outcomes related to workforce and college readiness. Solutions are sought that extend the reach and delivery of educational experiences by leveraging ways youth use technology in their everyday life. The authors share lessons they learned using and teaching technology at the Academy of Information Technology (AITE) High School. AITE is an inter-district public, college preparatory, magnet high school that offers its students a technology-rich learning environment. Its culture and climate fosters innovation that goes beyond the classroom. For example, a collaborative effort with AITE led to the creation of an online learning program – Best We Can Be – that engenders learning by facilitating supportive interpersonal networks between students, teachers, mentors, and peers, and by enabling personalized delivery of educational content. Other types of technology based learning experiences – such as robotics clubs – are used to engage students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines and to encourage exploration of challenging subject matter while developing critical workforce readiness skills.

ASEE Best Paper Award is established to recognize outstanding contributions in the field of engineering education with a particular focus on the ASEE Zone 1 Conference theme: “Engineering Education: Industry Involvement and Interdisciplinary Trends.”  Research demonstrating commitment to fostering the exchange of ideas, enhancing teaching methods and curricula, and providing prime networking opportunities for faculty members, students and industry and government representatives is especially encouraged.

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