The students of today will be inventing the jobs of tomorrow, said a Microsoft educator, and teachers need to know how to sharpen their skills to match.

“The job that a child will have who’s in kindergarten today is not even here right now,” Microsoft Corp. Director of Educational Leadership and Policy Byron V. Garrett said. “That makes it difficult for you to figure out, ‘What do I need to do?’”

Garrett spoke to some of the 1,300 attendees from the Fulton County School System and Atlanta Public Schools at the second Redefining Learning Conference March 10 at Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn.

“You want to understand what your students need to be able to do tomorrow? Pull out your mobile device and whatever it cannot do is a job opportunity for the class that you have right now,” he said in his closing keynote speech.

Traditionally valued assets like critical thinking, reasoning and logic have developed 21st-century counterparts, Garrett said, including novel and adaptive thinking, cross-cultural competency and new media literacy.

“The skills of the future (are) virtual collaboration and the ability to manage multiple tasks at the same time,” the former school principal said.

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