If students are to succeed, they need technology

Posted on Friday, 1/6/2014 6:37 PM
 

These days, when people in and outside of the education sector talk about high-quality instruction, it's not long before technology comes up. Technological advancements have changed the way business owners grow a company and doctors treat patients, so it's a given that teachers would use everything from computers to student software to enhance instruction.

Knowledge for tomorrow's careers
As so many jobs require workers to possess certain technical skills, there is a push in the education sector to ensure students acquire essential knowledge. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is one organization that is committed to this goal.

The Framework for 21st Century Learning, for example, states that the acquisition of information, media and technology skills is an intended outcome of modern support systems, such as academic standards and improved instruction.

Similarly, the Common Core State Standards are focused on ensuring that students in states that adopted the CCSS are prepared for college and the workforce. For this reason, the Common Core sets learning expectations for specific grade levels that should help pupils master specific technology skills. In eighth grade, for instance, students are asked to integrate multimedia into their presentations, according to the CCSS' website.

Pennsylvania invests in the future
The Keystone State kicked off 2014 by making a significant investment in its future workforce. According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, $1.7 million in funding will go to 42 schools that will be used to purchase new equipment.

"This funding will allow these schools to acquire new, state-of-the-art equipment for students to train for the jobs of tomorrow," said Carolyn Dumaresq, the acting secretary of education, in a statement. "Governor Corbett believes that providing students with access to high-quality resources will ensure their competitiveness with their peers in the local, national and global workforce."

The funding will help cover the costs of equipment needed to prepare students for careers in business, construction, energy, health care and other essential sectors. The earlier individuals acquire key knowledge and skills, the easier time they will have entering the fields of their choosing. For example, knowing how to use specific computer programs before students leave school will prevent them from having to play catch up later in life.

"Pennsylvania's employers require their employees to have the skills to meet the demands of the business community," Dumaresq said. "This investment will ensure that students have a hands-on learning experience that will benefit them in their chosen career."

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