Although partly tongue in cheek, Wired’s article on the “7 Essential Skills You Didn’t Learn in College” provides some thought-provoking insights into the changing nature of information and interactions with technology. The description of the purpose of the site is not far afield from our discussions of transliteracy:
It’s the 21st century. Knowing how to read a novel, craft an essay, and derive the slope of a tangent isn’t enough anymore. You need to know how to swim through the data deluge, optimize your prose for Twitter, and expose statistics that lie. In the following pages, you’ll find our updated core curriculum, which fills in the gaps of your 20th-century education with the tools you need now. Call it the neoliberal arts: higher learning for highly evolved humans.
The seven skills and the brief descriptions from the site are:
- Statistical Literacy: Making sense of today’s data-driven world.
- Post-State Diplomacy: Power and politics, sans government.
- Remix Culture: Samples, mashups, and mixes.
- Applied Cognition: The neuroscience you need.
- Writing for New Forms: Self-expression in 140 characters.
- Waste Studies: Understanding end-to-end economics.
- Domestic Tech: How to use the world as your lab.