Unfortunately, cyber and information security aren't foundational digital abilities, they are advanced, complex skillsets that are developed on top of more simple fluencies. An academic comparison would be writing a complex essay of a challenging piece of writing in English class. In order to tackle the dreaded Hamlet essay, a student would need advanced reading skills with the ability to tackle complex vocabulary and grammar that includes an understanding of both poetic syntax and the chronological difficulties inherent in reading something over four hundred years old. This contextual challenge alone would stress most people's language skills. On top of all that, the writing itself is a complex set of skills developed on top of simpler abilities. Students would need to understand spelling and grammar, and sentence construction and paragraph construction and argumentative theme development across the entire paper - it's a staggeringly complex ask that we can only attempt in high school because we've placed literacy as a foundational skillset in our education system.
|That was in 2010 - over a decade later Schmidt is still|
trying to get people to understand the digital
revolution that is happening around them.
The suddenness of this change has left many people behind. There are administrators and 'curriculum experts' in our system who have never used the cloud-based learning systems we're now required to use in every lesson. I'm up the pointy end of digitally fluent educators in the province. I applied for a system IT support role last year and didn't get it - I suspect mainly because the system is incapable of understanding and appreciating digital fluency on anything but a puerile level; it's a case of illiterate people failing to value and understand what literacy looks like; I'd really like to change that.
If we consider the education system I grew up in 1980s Ontario, it was a very analogue place. Teachers hand-wrote notes on a chalkboard which we copied by hand onto paper (which many students promptly lost, assuming they made the notes in the first place). I can remember vindictive teachers doing a whole 76 minute period of note taking to 'ready us for university'. Nothing prepares you for university like claw hand! These 'lessons' weren't about how to take quality hand-written notes, they were about how to copy everything that was on the board as exactly and quickly as possible. In retrospect, they did nothing to prepare me for university, but they were an example of the entrenched lessons we all experienced around creating analogue content; we never had a problem with teaching analogue skills because they hadn't changed for generations. In the past two decades we've revolutionized information recording and access, but we've also all but ignored learning best practices in these new mediums for both teachers and students.