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Why American business demands twenty-first century learning: A company perspective.

  • Knox, Allyson
Published Article
New directions for youth development
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2006
PMID: 17017254


Microsoft is an innovative corporation demonstrating the kind and caliber of job skills needed in the twenty-first century. It demonstrates its commitment to twenty-first century skills by holding its employees accountable to a set of core competencies, enabling the company to run effectively. The author explores how Microsoft's core competencies parallel the Partnership for 21st Century Skills learning frameworks. Both require advanced problem-solving skills and a passion for technology, both expect individuals to be able to work in teams, both look for a love of learning, and both call for the self-confidence to honestly self-evaluate. Microsoft also works to cultivate twenty-first century skills among future workers, investing in education to help prepare young people for competitive futures. As the need for digital literacy has become imperative, technology companies have taken the lead in facilitating technology training by partnering with schools and communities. Microsoft is playing a direct role in preparing students for what lies ahead in their careers. To further twenty-first century skills, or core competencies, among the nation's youth, Microsoft has established Partners in Learning, a program that helps education organizations build partnerships that leverage technology to improve teaching and learning. One Partners in Learning grantee is Global Kids, a nonprofit organization that trains students to design online games focused on global social issues resonating with civic and global competencies. As Microsoft believes the challenges of competing in today's economy and teaching today's students are substantial but not insurmountable, such partnerships and investments demonstrate Microsoft's belief in and commitment to twenty-first century skills.

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