Technology and Worker Transformation

I believe the CPATH mission is all about upgrading or updating the infrastructure of education. Furthermore, educational systems are a critical component of the infrastructure of our economy, easily as fundamental as transportation and communications components. So what does this mean in human terms?

Frank Langfitt's recent excellent NPR series on challenges faced by laid off furniture workers as they vie for new jobs offered at a Google data center in rural North Carolina illustrates several opportunities we should address as we develop approaches to CT infusion across the entire pipeline.

Retraining or new skill development is easily as important - and as urgent - as developing skills on the mythical tabula rasa. Introducing skills in the building block approach assumed by most curricula and introducing skills to conditioned workers with the blinders and habituation of experience likely require significantly different approaches. While this would appear to expand the scope or complexity of the CPATH problem domain, I think that appropriate CT content could become a survival payload in retraining or re-skilling programs launched in pursuit of economic recovery or transition.

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  1. Gary Hartley Says:

    The example given in this post aptly illustrates the short agility window we are facing with the rapid changes in technology and the volatility of the economy in this epoch. There has been some media attention focused on the cities (particularly in the eastern US) that have re-invented themselves in the wake of collapse of heavy industries (e.g., steel) in these areas. This requires computational thinking and innovation at a high level.

    For us, the question revolves around how to use these examples to formulate solutions for the pipeline challenges that CPATH addresses. The older, experienced workers, for example, offer their wisdom and work ethic, as well as a corpus of transferable skills to the new educational and industrial enterprise. Maybe we should move them out of the "back of the pack" and work toward putting them in the lead? First, of course, we need to engage them…