Beth Holland

Food for thought…

21st Century Skills According to the Giants

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Please let me preface this article by saying that it is purely based on personal observation of NOTHING but television advertisements over the past few months. While I have read a multitude of scholarly articles, tech reviews, blogs, tweets, and more, for this post, I am going to completely ignore it. Here’s why: I’m willing to bet that a majority of the population has spent more time watching these ads than reading the aforementioned information.

NOTE: I have seen an abnormal quantity of TV since I broke my leg. We do not have TiVO, a DVR, or a lot of cable channels, so I have actually watched the commercials on the major network stations.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

1. Microsoft Thinks 21st Century Skills = Productivity

If you watch Windows8 or Windows Surface commercials, apparently the only important things to know are how to use Office products. Social Media is “fun” and something to do on the side. Email, spreadsheets, and occasionally dancing before circling a graph make the world go-round.

2. Google Thinks 21st Century Skills = Ubiquitous Access

Chrome is everywhere. Chromebooks can go anywhere. Google can find anything. With the web giant, the key is to managing ubiquitous computing. Ok, so this wasn’t in the commercials, but I will make an inference here. According to Google, it’s most important to be connected, to communicate, and to share.

3. Apple Thinks 21st Century Skills = Storytelling

Create a video, take a picture, record your voice, share your work. Use your iPad or iPhone (interesting, but I don’t recall any Macbook commercials lately), and instantly create new content that has meaning. In other words, tell a story.

Based on these observations, I can understand why the business world still thinks that Microsoft is irreplaceable, why there are concerns with Google and Privacy (don’t get Scroogled), and why Apple needs to be careful. However, looking on these three separate images, when put together, they do paint an interesting picture.

Author: brholland

EdD Student, Writer, Speaker, Consultant

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