Technology is an amazing resource for students, but many schools around the globe are struggling to more fully take advantage of its benefits in the classroom and beyond.
As students get comfortable with technologies, especially business-critical technologies, they become more employable and will have an easier time finding work when they graduate. Through technology, students can master both hard and soft skills needed for their career development.
As educators, we can make a lasting impact on students’ lives by using technology in ways that familiarize them with the business world.
Here are 10 ways you can use technology to enhance your students’ career development:
1. Encourage teamwork
Teamwork is a word your students are going to begin to hear often when they enter the workforce. The word ‘teamwork' (or similarly, the phrase ‘team player') appears on most job descriptions and listings. Fortunately, you can help your students prepare for their careers by using technology to collaborate amongst themselves. Suggest apps and programs that provide students opportunities to work amongst themselves, share files and collaborate.
2. Develop critical thinking skills
Next to teamwork, critical thinking skills are probably the most important skills employers want to see in potential candidates. You can help your students access tools and resources online that will allow them to develop habits of working through challenging tasks and employing creative problem-solving.
3. Inculcate responsibility
Lending devices to students for schoolwork can help them develop a sense of responsibility that will aid them in their careers. It’s common for employees to use business-owned laptops and mobile devices, and this will prepare them for using public devices as their own. Just be sure to provide them with a code of conduct and check to see that they follow through.
4. Set the stage for life-learning learning
People who make a career out of learning are most successful in business and in life. So, if you can use technology to spark a student’s curiosity to learn, you may just spark a lifelong passion that will help them in their career.
5. Evaluate students with online education portfolios
Portfolios help students express creativity in areas that are difficult to assess. This can help students who plan to move forward in creative industries share a variety of formats, including video, music and art.
6. Develop genuine learning experiences
Technology can help your students by providing a real-world learning experience as they use social media, wikis and peer-reviewed research to find answers to questions.
7. Help students engage with bosses
Students can use social media, online portfolios and mobile devices to showcase their skills and connect with potential employers. Create assignments that encourage students to create a LinkedIn profile or an online portfolio to give them the confidence and experience they’ll need to put their work online and get found by potential employers.
8. Develop independence and self-regulation
With the right technology, you can allow students to progress at their own pace and illustrate their abilities to be independent and self-regulating. These are going to be important skills as they transition into their new careers because a boss isn’t always going to be there to give them step-by-step directions.
9. Aid in skill development and self-assessment
Allow your students access to diagnostic tools to help them identify their own skills and employability. Tools like these can help students determine which field of work to enter, and this insight can help shape their career path.
10. Develop digital literacy
When students use technology in the classroom, they’ll have a better handle on using technology within the workplace. It’s important that we don’t take for granted that students are already versed in new technology. This may not be the case, or they may not know how to use the programs they’ll need as they begin building their careers.
Technology is often used as a tool to make education easier, but it can also be a tool to help enhance students’ career development.