Benefits of Investing in a Student Technology Program

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shutterstock_749503528Students need to learn with technology! Schools have been discovering this since the first big push to put computers into classrooms, in the 1980s, and student technology programs continue to expand and grow to this day. Unfortunately, even if educators understand their importance, technology can often be a hard sell at a budgetary level. If you're trying to talk parents into approving a technology funding bill or property tax, for example, you'll need convincing arguments!

The ways that student technology programs can improve outcomes are numerous.  Here are just a few examples of how worthwhile they can be.

Four Strong Arguments In Favor Of Student Technology Programs

1. The World Runs on Computers

Possibly the most compelling argument is also the most clear-cut: The world runs on computers and has for decades. Basic computer literacy is a requirement for the vast majority of jobs today. Even jobs like construction, which rely on manual labor, are becoming increasingly computerized.

Students who aren't given an opportunity to become comfortable with computers, and commonplace tools such as document editors and spreadsheets, will be at a huge disadvantage when they enter the workforce.

2. Technology Programs Reduce Income-Based Achievement Gaps

While it would be nice if every student could grow up with computers and smartphones in their home, the reality is that many do not. For lower-income students, school may be their only good opportunity to be exposed to modern technology. As one example, numerous studies have demonstrated that laptop loan programs are extremely helpful for low-income students who lack computers at home.

Likewise, programs to provide Internet access to low-income areas, such as WiFi routers mounted on school buses, can do a lot to improve technological access among these students.

3. Enable Easier Collaboration Between Students

In the business world, it's become vanishingly rare for workers to do projects by themselves. Collaboration is almost always how businesses get projects done, which means students need practice and experience with collaborative tools. Technology ventures providing online access and computers to students will help them become accustomed to working with their peers on projects, which will be an invaluable skill after leaving the workplace.

4. Technology Benefits Teachers Too!

Finally, don't overlook how student technology programs can also benefit teachers. If every student has their own computer/tablet/etc., it becomes far easier for teachers to communicate with students, keep tabs on them, and streamline the 'bureaucratic' side of teaching, which cuts into actual teaching time. Widespread use of technology benefits everyone in a district.

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So, what about your district? What sort of student technology programs are you considering? Let's talk about the options in the comments below!