MATURE workers must be adept with new technology in the workplace to avoid being left behind, a consultancy expert says.
Crossways Consulting leadership coach and psychologist Dr Darryl Cross says workers employed at the turn of the century generally believed they would be able to ride out technological advancements. But he says this is no longer the case.
Dr Cross says the global financial crisis forced people to work, at least part-time if not full-time, well into their mid-80s, forcing them to embrace new technology.
‘‘It’s absolutely critical for people to learn,’’ he says.
‘‘Retirement is not happening at 65 any more, it’s more likely 85 so people have to be across technology.’’ Dr Cross says workers need to be proficient in basic skills including being able to email, use Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher and using company intranets to access policies and documents.
He says it also is important for employees to be able to manage online diaries.
‘‘People should know how to use Skype to keep in touch with family members, too,’’ he says.
Dr Cross says education tools are ‘‘archaic’’ and teachers need to be able to use modern technology to teach children.
He says people do not necessarily need to enrol into a course to learn but can sit down with family members or children to keep up to speed.
Teachers are among the professionals who have to adapt to new technology as they change the way they teach.
For Pulteney Grammar School Year Five teacher Robyn Cox, smartboards have replaced the blackboards, video players and cassette recorders she used when she started teaching more than 20 years ago. Now Mrs Cox incorporates technology into a lot of the curriculum and says it is a medium students enjoy and embrace. ‘‘ We use interactive whiteboards with the children and they produce a lot of their SOSE work using IT as well,’’ she says.
‘‘Computers are just another educational tool to help them be interested in their learning.’’
Mrs Cox admits it is difficult for teachers to keep up with technological advances but there is help available.
‘‘We have personal development days and younger staff that help us it. The children help me as well,’’ she says.
‘‘You have to be interested and want to keep up with them as best you can.’’
Her school places a strong emphasis on teaching students cyber safety because most children know how to use computers.
‘‘They like it and it’s their medium,’’ she says.
Pulteney Grammar teacher Robyn Cox keeps up with the evolving technology of her job.