Bringing 21st Century Skills Into High Schools

Millennials are sometimes called the “tech generation.” They are the first generation who have never lived without the Internet or cell phones. They can’t imagine not being connected and many spend hours each day online. By 2020, connected devices are projected to outnumber connected people six to one. But, with great access comes great responsibility, and it’s crucial that young people be equipped to use these great tools effectively, efficiently and ethically.

We recently talked about a new program from, the Digital Citizenship App, that helps show students how to protect themselves online. Now, is offering Project NextTech, a two-semester high school course based on curriculum developed by the non-profit Generation YES. It is designed to develop the technology proficiency and information and media literacy skills students need to succeed in our increasingly digital world.

A recent policy report released by the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) suggests the need to improve career readiness. Over the next 15 years, every day 10,000 baby boomers are retiring, projecting that by 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. This underscores the need to ensure that today’s students are develop the digital literacy and other 21st century skills needed to succeed in the college and the workforce.

Through a combination of explorations, activities and real-world, technology-rich projects, Project NextTech helps prepares high school students to be college- and career-ready. Students learn, for example, how to identify and select the right tool for a task, how to locate and use information efficiently and ethically, and how to become critical consumers and creators of media in all forms.

Technology application in the classroom harnesses and directs students’ creativity while building the knowledge needed to be successful. The emphasis on project-based work and real-world experiences in Project NextTech also helps students to identify the strengths and interests that will inform their career choices in the future.

Learn more at

Also see: & the Foundation for Excellence in Education are a Getting Smart Advocacy Partners.

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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