What should students be studying now to prepare for 10 years from now?

Uncategorized Posted Jan 20, 2012 by chenpr

That’s the question Xconomy asked its “Xconomists” – innovators and entrepreneurs across a variety of tech sectors – at a time when the topic of education is at the forefront, and for good reason. The collection of responses was released earlier this week as a Special Report on Education and is sparking much discussion within the tech community and beyond.

Among the many thoughtful responses, President and CEO of Sakti3, Ann Marie Sastry says, “The notion that there is a gold standard—a favored text or tome, a single subject-matter expert, or a single corporation with the single best practice, in any discipline—is really outdated,” while CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, John Maraganore’s disagrees. His response begins with the simple answer, “Biology 101 and beyond.”

To me, this varied outlook on the education system—what should be taught, what must be learned, how students will be best served, and then go on to serve the world—is key to keeping our global economy thriving. Not every student can or should focus on Biology, or become an excellent computer programmer, or have a knack for analyzing complicated data. But, at the same time, not every student can have a solely liberal arts background. Learning how to learn is extremely helpful, and learning how to grow cells is extremely helpful as well. Perhaps what is most helpful to the progress of a nation, and the world, is when many individuals with individual skills come together and create a work force.

How would you have answered the question? Which responses did you find most poignant?

Xconomy will host a Tweetchat at 2:00 p.m. ET today to continue the conversation with report contributor John Seely Brown (@jseelybrown). JSB is the tech visionary behind Xerox PARC, the legendary computer research lab where much of modern personal computing was conceived and/or brought to life. Join the conversation at @bbuderi and @xconomy, hashtag is #XCed.

Post by CHEN PR’s Jen Krupski