Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Digital Natives Don't Know Tech? OY!

From T.H.E. Journal....

"Report: 6 of 10 Millennials Have 'Low' Technology Skills

Digital natives aren't as tech-savvy as they think they are — at least, not according to their bosses. American millennials (those between the ages of 16 and 34) may be the first generation that grew up with computers and Internet access, but all that time spent glued to a small screen hasn't translated to technology competence. While they spend an average of 35 hours every week on digital media, nearly six out of 10 millennials can't do basic tasks such as sorting, searching for and emailing data from a spreadsheet.
Those are the findings of a research project that analyzed data from an assessment of adult competencies that tests cognitive and workplace skills. Change the Equation, a consortium of business and education organizations, hired the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to analyze raw data from the 2012 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a household study conducted by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
AIR specifically examined results of "Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments" for 5,000 test-takers in the United States, aged 16 to 64. Those questions assess how well the person can use digital technology, communications tools and networks to get and analyze information, communicate with others and "perform practical tasks."
Based on how well a person did in that portion of the PIACC, he or she was given a score between zero and 500, which was used to define what level of technical proficiency he or she possessed: below level 1, level 1, level 2 and level 3. Those who score below level 2, as an example, couldn't solve a multi-step problem that required more than one computer application. Then the various levels were used to understand characteristics of the test-takers in each category, such as average earnings. Fifty-eight percent of millennials fell into those lower levels.
The results of the analysis, shared in the four-page report, "Does Not Compute: The High Cost of Low Technology Skills in the U.S. — and What We Can Do About It," found that although 91 percent of millennials consider a lack of computer skills irrelevant to their job prospects, employers think otherwise, A survey by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, found that only 37 percent consider recent college graduates well prepared to stay on top of new technologies.
That gap could impair millennial earning power. As the report noted, a person ranked at the lowest skill level earns nearly 40 percent less on average ($2,920 per month) than a person at the highest level ($6,622), even when other characteristics that affect earnings, such as race, gender or skills in math and literacy, are held constant.
"Our findings go against the assumption that America's first generation of 'digital natives' are tech savvy," said Change the Equation CEO Linda Rosen. "If we continue to leave young people to their own devices — quite literally — their low skills will become a dead weight on individual opportunity and American productivity...."

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