What's much more important now is thinking skills and the ability to work collaboratively to solve problems and to create. Unfortunately much of our educational system is still focused on the old traditional model. The tests we ask kids to take often ask them to recall inane facts that don't have much value or repercussions for the real world. Fortunately these same students are well-versed in the use of the new technologies when they need to learn something outside of school. I've found that you can have someone show you how to do almost anything by simply searching on YouTube. And of course these tools they are learning with outside of school are banned or blocked inside the school. Why not utilize them and push students to use them better and more efficiently.
All this sounds very similar to what I did in my previous job at the nonprofit environmental advocacy group Surfrider Foundation. We figured out that if you want to influence people to change their behavior or convince them to think more environmentally, you need to talk to them in the places where they live their lives. So we put more effort into talking about our issues on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Today, so many people live and interact with their families and friends in online venues that we, as educators, need to figure out how to take advantage of those tendencies.
We now live in and interact with a global community. It's so easy to share experiences and find someone who is going through the same thing as you, or that went through it in the past. We can learn from any number of people that have gone through the same things we have. But we need to teach our students how to think about those resources, how to recognize which ones are of value and how to apply that knowledge to the problems they are faced with.