According to PwC, robots could take over 38 percent of U.S. jobs within about 15 years. That’s why it’s so critical to help today’s K-12 students develop the digital skills needed to succeed in the changing workforce.
The role of technology in K-12 education is essential. According to the U.S. Department of Education:
“Technology ushers in fundamental structural changes that can be integral to achieving significant improvements in productivity. Used to support both teaching and learning, technology infuses classrooms with digital learning tools, such as computers and handheld devices; expands course offerings, experiences, and learning materials; supports learning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; builds 21st century skills; increases student engagement and motivation; and accelerates learning. Technology also has the power to transform teaching by ushering in a new model of connected teaching. This model links teachers to their students and to professional content, resources, and systems to help them improve their own instruction and personalize learning.”
Yet, when it comes to technology, not all schools are the same. While most schools have computers available to students, access to fast and reliable Internet varies greatly. According to the National Science Board, “students in high-minority schools were half as likely to have high-speed Internet as students in low-minority schools, and students in low-income schools or remote rural areas were twice as likely as students in affluent schools or their urban and suburban peers to have slow Internet access at their schools.”
Studies of achievement using technology have been mixed, with many educators arguing that technology simply doesn’t increase achievement at all or that there is only marginal improvement. While technology use may not have an immediate impact on test scores or other achievement measures, it undeniably plays a role in increasing students’ familiarity with technology and potential applications in the “real world.”
In addition, while the majority of U.S. K-12 schools reported having computers in 2008, those same computers are often still in use today. Cash-strapped schools, in particular, struggle to keep up with the fast-changing technologies that can help prepare students for this digital economy.
So how can your school enable students to access the latest technologies that can help prepare them for the digital workforce?
The U.S. Department of Education suggests that funds to support the transition to digital learning are available under ESEA and IDEA, as well as the FCC’s E-Rate program. State and local funds and private grants can also help fund technology purchases. Learn more about how to fund digital learning.
Win $10,000 to fund IT equipment purchases
APC by Schneider Electric offers a unique way to improve your IT environment. Its annual IT Makeover Contest allows schools, through their APC by Schneider Electric partners, to submit pictures or video showing why they’re deserving of winning a $10,000 prize toward IT equipment.
To date, two schools have each received $10,000—one a large public school that updated its “scary” server closet, the other a rural private school that updated its student computers and needed additional funds to update their 10-year-old computers for teachers and staff.
Learn more about how to enter the contest at k12makeover.apc.com or ask your APC by Schneider Electric partner. But don’t delay. This unique opportunity ends on June 30, 2019. Also, be sure to read this case study on our previous winner!