Digital skills are in demand in about 50% of jobs in the current economy, Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said during a recent event. She highlighted ways that the technology industry and textbook publishers could innovate to help equip students with the digital skills needed in today's workforce.
Many educators are in a transition period from excitement over "cool tools" to the realization that educational technology will not be effective without professional development, former teacher and instructional technologist Eric Patnoudes writes in this article. He calls this transition "Pendulum 2.0."
For the 1,200 school districts nationwide that share funding from the $1.2 billion federal Impact Aid program, the across-the-board funding cuts known as sequestration took effect immediately. Most other districts, which receive federal funding under a traditional model, will feel the effects in the upcoming school year. However, for those affected now -- primarily districts with military bases or Indian reservations nearby -- officials say 31 have cut positions, delayed the purchase of technology and other materials, and eight districts have cut back on professional development.
Students at an Ohio middle school are learning about budgeting, salary, taxes and other financial lessons through the online personal finance course, Banzai. As part of the lesson, students are given mock paychecks and shown the amount taken out for taxes and how much money must be set aside to pay for expenses, such as food and rent. Students also are taught about the risks of online scams and about the safe use of social-networking websites.
At a recent conference, Karen Kahan, the Texas Education Agency's director of educational technology, shared that the state is making strides in the use of education technology. Among the recent steps taken are legislative efforts to support virtual schooling and replace the term "textbook" with language that could open the door for more digital learning materials, Kahan reported. The state also recently took steps to launch Web 2.0 tools in its professional-development programs, she noted.