South Korea Economy Built Around Technical Education

South Korea had a strong technical education system—so powerful it rebuilt its shattered economy. As we work to improve our CTE system in the United States, it behooves us to look at South Korea and examine the innovative solutions that are being implemented to improve education, training, and career options there.

From High Demand to Low Demand
After the Korean War, the economy of the newly divided Korean peninsula was devastated. However, you would never know it when you look at South Korea today. Gleaming skyscrapers dominate the Seoul skyline, internationally famous songs invoke the high life, and high-tech industry proliferates throughout the country.
It was no easy path to get this far in such a short period of time. It took comprehensive reforms that were anchored in education, and more specifically, vocational education and training. There is a renewed effort by the government to re-establish VET programs and bring back the prestige they once enjoyed.


Bryan Setser, a highly acclaimed educator and leader in the design of next generation learning models, has been named Chief Design Officer of Matchbook Learning, a national non-profit organization committed to the transformation of public schools in America.

               The Matchbook model, currently being used in Matchbook operated charter schools in Detroit and Newark, is based on an innovative personalized learning methodology supported with extensive teacher training and a powerful learning technology platform called Spark.

Dr. Setser will lead the effort to design and build Matchbook’s unique platform and experience into a “Matchbook Accelerator,” a program that enables schools and districts around the country to utilize Matchbook’s tools, technology and expertise and train their own teams to transform schools using the Matchbook method.

He will also design tools and processes to further refine Matchbook’s process and further enhance the learning experience at the schools Matchbook operates.

Sajan George, Matchbook’s CEO, said: “Bryan has been nationally recognized as one of the leading innovators in designing new learning models that help schools succeed and help children gain the tools they need to compete in the 21st Century economy.” 

Preparing a Globally Competent Workforce Through High-Quality Career and Technical Education

Rapid economic, technological, and social changes are creating a world that is ever more interconnected. One in ten Americans is foreign born, and local communities—urban, suburban, and rural—are growing more diverse.

To take advantage of global market opportunities, companies must hire workers with global competence—that is, the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. U.S. educators face a critical new imperative: to prepare all students for work and civic roles in an environment where success increasingly requires the ability to compete, connect, and cooperate on an international scale.

Students can learn about and apply global competencies through Career and Technical Education (CTE). With an anchor in preparing students for the careers of their choice and a focus on the critical academic, technical, and employability skills needed for success, CTE offers a natural platform on which to build global competencies. Globally minded CTE programs can provide the rigorous and authentic setting necessary to prepare students for the competitive world economy, while offering a more engaging, motivating, and relevant education experience.

Solving the Two Most Common Struggles of Filling Skills Gap Positions

Do you recall the first time you heard someone refer to the “job skills gap” – you know, the former buzzword turned industry-wide problem? By now, undoubtedly, most of us are tuned into the discussion around the skills gap. When we talk about filling a gap, it usually means that something needs fixing or correcting. Or for business, it requires an analysis to determine how to get from where you are to where you want to be. But what does it mean for employment and finding talent?

Thirteen million people are looking for work while three million jobs go unfilled. In other words, this gap we are referring to is the space between the skill set of prospective workers and the skill set a company requires to not only perform the job, but excel in the role. When the dialogue around this disconnect first began, it left business leaders caught between agreeing with the concept, knowing this is a reality, and also wondering to what degree it is affecting their own companies. What we have come to find is that it is prevalent among the skilled trades such as manufacturing and construction. And what’s worse, the gap seems to be widening.
Dan Campbell, Hire Dynamics

Drones as a Learning Tool

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are frequently used as a part of military, governmental and civil operations. Now, the devices also are being used as learning tools in a classroom at Woodland Elementary School. In the fourth- and fifth-grade gifted learning class overseen by Bobbi Starling, students are learning a number of subjects with the help of more than 50 spider, parrot, sumo and large-scale drones.

"Any lesson or skill can be taught with these drones," Starling said. "And they are definitely engaged."
After reading and studying about the various applications of drones, Starling's students rotated among drone learning stations, programming the devices with the use of the Tickle app on their iPads.
Drones for Learning

$100 Million for TechHire Partnership Grants

America has about 5.4 million open jobs today, substantially more than in any year since 2001.The new openings in information technology (IT) fields including software development, network administration, and cybersecurity are projected to grow at a rate that is two-thirds higher than the average for all jobs. The average salary in a job that requires IT skills – whether in manufacturing, advertising, retail or banking – is more than 50 percent higher than the average private-sector American job. Helping more Americans train and connect to these jobs is an important opportunity to get more people into the middle class, but it is also an economic imperative for America’s continued leadership in global innovation. Today our IT training pipeline is dramatically under-producing workers to fill these good jobs, which is costing employers, workers, and the U.S. economy. As this is the case, communities across the country are in need of more cost-effective, timely, agile, and market-responsive training pipelines for these jobs.

Applications are due March 11, 2016

Career and Technical Education Should Be the Rule, Not the Exception

It's hard to argue with the success of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, which teach transferable workplace skills and academic content in a hands-on context. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently characterized CTE programs as providing "instruction that is hands-on and engaging, as well as rigorous and relevant." He went on to say that CTE programs "are helping to connect students with the high-demand science, technology, engineering and math fields -- where so many good jobs are waiting." Furthermore, in recognizing CTE month on the House floor, Rep. James Langevin recently stated, "CTE is an investment in the future of our economy, our workforce and our country."

DOE, DOT, DOL Report CTE Needs for Transportation Industry Through 2022

U.S. departments of Education, Transportation, and Labor jointly released the report Strengthening Skills Training and Career Pathways Across the Transportation Industry. It examines six transportation subsectors as they will manifest themselves up to 2022: trucking transportation, highway construction and maintenance, transit and ground passenger transportation, rail transportation, air transportation, and maritime transportation. Projections from the data available and anticipated developments suggest the following workforce trends:

•The transportation industry faces major demographic challenges in filling its workforce needs from a combination of factors, including job growth and separations (retirements, transfers to other occupations, and other turnovers).
•The transportation industry will need to hire about 4.6 million workers through 2022.

The Future of STEM is Synonymous with the Future of Work

As advancements to how we approach STEM education and initiatives are on the rise around science, engineering and mathematics, we’re seeing a greater impact on how we recognize children’s development and understanding of now-vital tech skills, robotics will continue to play an important role.

According to the MIT Media Lab, coding has become the new literacy, meaning that, in this context, children must learn to design and create digital technology via honed skills such as programming. This said, currently, only one in 10 schools across the United States actively teach children to code. This suggests that the majority of students nationwide – despite the critical need to hone STEM skills – is not receiving institutional support, and must therefore rely on their own initiative, or their family’s.

Ricky Ye

Educating Kids in the Jobs that will Keep U.S. Competitive - An Interview with Norm Augustine

1) Let's talk a bit about STEM in general. Why is it important, specifically as it relates to the kinds of jobs that are growing in Colorado and beyond? All the evidence I've collected convinces me that the future of this country pivots to a considerable degree on our prowess in STEM. Most the major problems are going to have to find the solutions to their problems through care, defense...

My second conclusion is we're losing ground to other countries, ... and we're going to be in trouble for it. Nationally, while a lot has been done, when it comes to standardized international tests, we're doing more poorly than we did years ago. The percentage of young people going into STEM — other countries are way past's not that we are getting worse; it's that everyone else is getting better. We are somewhere between stagnant and moving forward a small amount.
Norm Augustine

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