Podcast Publish Date: July 10, 2019 – Click here to listen

Main Points: 1) Equipping students for success involves both hard and soft skills. 2) Hard skills are more concrete, while soft skills are more abstract. 3) Both are essential for success in our 21st century environment.

Transcript: Our mission at Missio Academy is to equip students for personal, professional, and pedagogic advancement through high-quality, online education in an uplifting Apostolic Environment, ultimately for the purpose of advancing the kingdom of God. Over the next few episodes, I’d like to spend some time breaking down this statement. What does it mean to equip students? What is personal advancement? Professional advancement? Pedagogic advancement? Why are these important in today’s cultural and economic environment? What does it mean to be high-quality in the online educational world? What is an uplifting apostolic Environment in the context of online education? What does it mean to advance the kingdom of God and how does this advancement connect with education? Let’s start with the first question: What does it mean to equip students? Here, we get into a discussion of hard vs. soft skills–hard skills being the concrete ability to do something in a specific field. Some examples would be riding a bike, typing, operating heavy equipment, cooking, installing windows, and stocking shelves. Soft skills, on the other hand, tend to be more generalizable, abstract, and harder to quantify. Some examples of soft skills are collaboration, communication, leadership, time management, creativity, motivation, and work ethic. Obviously, hard skills are easier to nail down (note the hard skill metaphor), but, especially with the rise of technology, instant information access, and social media, the development of soft skills have been increasingly becoming more in demand. When asked about the most important skills students need to prepare for the 21st-century workforce, business leaders and education officials alike often start with soft skills such as teamwork, communication, and orientation toward or focus on the future, complex thinking skills, decision making skills, creativity, and self-discipline. So in answer to our question, to equip students is to teach them both the soft and hard skills needed for success in this 21st-century environment. In the next episode, we will attempt to define personal, professional, and pedagogic advancement in the context of student success.

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