How I get their attention: Businessweek’s Future of Work

I love listening to both the Businessweek and Wall Street Journal podcasts. They are brief, pithy podcasts with great information that is applicable across the board.

This week, I am requiring my ninth graders to listen to this podcast about the future of work. Here are the questions I'm asking them:

As we discuss how things are changing, Businessweek has created an issue about the future of work. This is the world that you will be living in. Listen to this brief podcast and answer the following. (please number)

1) What is changing about the workplace in America?
2) What type of people will continue to be employed? (What characteristics will they have.)
3) What do you find most interesting that was discussed?
4) Are you personally optimistic or pessimistic about future employment opportunities for you and why.

Kids need to know WHY things are important. Why is it important to adopt an attitude of change? Why is it important to learn? Why there are no guarantees any more!

It has been a great week!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Sue Waters August 25, 2007 - 12:27 pm

Thanks Vicki for sharing this podcasts as I was interested to hear about the issues facing the American workforce compared in here in Western Australia. It is amazing that your State can be in a resource boom and you can be worried for the future.

But maybe your students would like to think about this?

Facts about Western Australia.

Currently there are 1.4 applicants for every job. Every where you look there are signs advertising positions vacant (e.g. backs of buses).Unemployment rate is 3.3 %.

Median house price is $463,000. Rental rates are escalating due to housing shortage.

No enough teachers to fill vacancies in schools, they are having to employ people who have not finished their qualifications. People earn more money working in the mining industry.

Many see no point in further education as they can earn better money in the mining industry. Reports indicate that this boom will continue due to the needs of China and India.


Jennifer Carrier Dorman August 25, 2007 - 2:30 pm

Thanks for this post. I recently blogged about this issue, which I find tremendously powerful as well.

I am teaching a new course next year called online connections. I have been creating the curriculum and activities for it this summer. The podcast with your analysis questions make a perfect activity. Thanks!

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