Jeffery Rosen’s recent article in the New York Times provides the best evidence for my contention that navigating social media is indeed a 21st Century skill. Therefore, in addition to supplying classroom technology like projectors, 3D software, whiteboards and document cameras, a mandatory middle school course with refreshers in high school should be developed and implemented in classrooms across the country.
In the article Rosen quotes a recent survey by Microsoft which asserts that 75 percent of US recruiters and HR people claim their companies require them to research potential candidates via all means possible. A whopping seventy percent of these U.S. based recruiters admit having passed over candidates for the very information they unearthed when excavating these sites including photos, comments on forums or discussion boards or an applicant's membership in certain groups. Now I won’t even get into the privacy issues…..but I will say that the digital arena is one that never forgets… mistakes don’t ever just go away. If our kids are playing in that sandbox—and they are, it is absolutely necessary for us to teach them where all four corners lie and that the castles they build never crumble and disappear.