While readily investing dollars in task skills training, too many businesses ignore the basic skills knowledge gap that exists throughout their organization.  And that means specific training in reading and math skills! 

Unfortunately, when they take the time to examine that skills gap, many find that their employees simply don’t have the reading and math skills necessary for effective job performance

“Well-designed programs using the latest technology could be our best hope for helping struggling readers.

 Literacy is the base on which learning is built—in school and in life. It provides a way to climb out of poverty, get a good job, and be a productive citizen. Helping the struggling readers in our schools to catch up is one of the most fundamental challenges educators face. Meeting that challenge is difficult for several reasons.

 First, students who struggle with reading are not all developmentally equal.  .  .  .

 Second, struggling readers have no time to waste and need to learn faster than other students if they want to catch up.  .  .  .

 Third, students who struggle with reading expect to fail.  .  .  .

 Fourth, students who are two, three, four, or more years behind in reading have been unable to learn from texts they were assigned in school for quite some time. So there’s a massive “background knowledge gap” they need to overcome.

 So how do we help these students? I would argue that technology gives us the best chance.

Why Technology?

 .  .  . I have been studying how carefully designed applications of technology can help students who struggle with reading and math and help teachers overcome many of the challenges I’ve noted.  .  .  . “  (excerpted from “Five Reasons Readers Need Technology” byTed Hasselbring)

We all know that a working understanding of applied industrial math, as well as the necessary reading and writing skills significantly effects performance.

The fundamental skills in an applied industrial math curriculum should include everything from whole numbers to decimals to statistics.  Basic reading and writing skills should address everything from procedures and instructions to reference materials and technical manuals.

Don’t assume your employees have the requisite basic skills to perform effectively.  Measure the skills gap — and, then address it with knowledgeably designed media-based training programs. 

In so many ways the payback to your organization’s bottom line will exceed all the investment dollars you currently spend on specific task instruction.

More on Wednesday  –  –  –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning  (Mondays & Wednesdays)

(This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity,)