The first step to being digitally literate is to understand the power technology has over you. I covered much of that on Tuesday's post and I will refer you there as a starting point. This post will go in a different direction than that one; here we will focus on which specific technologies are needed before entering today's workforce.
It is essential for anyone in the business world to understand the technology that they work with every day. In fact, it is really a necessity no matter what field you are involved with. In my role as Director of Innovation here in the Crowell School of Business, I am working to ensure that every business graduate has developed enough technology skills to make them "digitally literate".
Beginning with business students starting in our program this fall, I have created a set of technology skills and experiences that will be included in the core business curriculum. Students will be assigned projects during their time in the program where these technology skills will have to be demonstrated. Students who began the program before this fall may or may not undertake all of these projects, but most likely will complete many of them.
So what are these technology experiences? Here is the current listing:
- Reflect upon how your use of technology affects your relationships to family, friends, and God (as discussed in the first part of this series).
- Solve a business problems using Microsoft Excel, including the use of formulas, Excel's "Solver" tool and pivot tables.
- Complete a simple data mining exercise using Excel.
- Solve a business problem using Microsoft Access (a database tool) in an exercise that includes the creation of tables, queries and reports.
- Conduct a virtual meeting using the business communication platform standard WebEx.
- Create a simple website using a basic tool such as Google sites.
- Create an online store website using professional e-commerce software for a real client business.
- Learn the basics of search engine optimization and implement it on a website.
- Create a Facebook page for a business and integrate it into a website.
- Create a Twitter account for a business and integrate it into a website.
- Capture and edit a high-quality video, adding titles and/or a soundtrack, and upload it to YouTube.
- Develop training materials demonstrating how to accomplish a particular task on a computer. This includes several screen shots and the use of screen-capture software to create a training video.
- Use Google's advanced search features.
- Learn how to secure your Facebook and Google accounts using two-factor authentication.
- Research different alternatives for backing up your own personal computers.
- Use the alternative presentation software Prezi to create a animated presentation.
As technology changes and evolves, this list will change as well. But the goal is the same: the Crowell School of Business will graduate students who are digitally literate and can help their future employers navigate the technology landscape in the years ahead.
What do you think about this list? What's missing? Do you use any of these technologies in your work or personal life? If you were to require that someone knew just one technology to work at your company, what would it be? Share your thoughts in the comments.