News Feature | October 16, 2013

Education IT News For VARS — October 16, 2013

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson

Technology-Enhanced University Education: How IT Solutions Providers Can Make Their Mark

In this week’s news, government spending for education technology is expected to exceed $165 billion, some Georgia schools are piloting BYOD, and educational video games are gaining popularity for classroom use.

Government Spending For Education Technology To Top $165 Billion

The Research and Markets report “Education Technology in the U.S. — Market Intelligence” states, because a large portion of U.S. education is public, government spending for education technology is expected to exceed $165 billion in 2014, or 3.2 percent of the budget.  In addition, the FCC will improve the E-Rate program, which subsidizes broadband and wireless connections in U.S. schools and libraries, further increasing the demand for technology.  The report also lists several trends in education technology, including massive open online courses (MOOCs), flipped classrooms, and gamification.

BYOD Piloted In Georgia Schools

An article in The Republic reports schools in Georgia are testing a “Bring Your Own Technology” program for students. In some classes, instead of using books for research, students can use their cell phones and laptops. They also can submit their homework via email.

Educational Games Trending In Classrooms

A article explores the idea of educational video games for classroom use. Could it be a growing market? Pernian Faheem, organizer of the first iGame Conference, points out, “Our kids are growing up playing online games already. Rather than fighting it, let’s make sure they’re learning something useful in the process.”

Company Monitors Student Activity On Social Media

A article reports a California school has hired Geo Listening to monitor students’ social media activities , specifically looking for cyberbullying, drug activity, and suicidal tendencies.  The school piloted the program last year, with the company identifying a suicidal student and notifying the family in time to help. The program is not without controversy. Some students aren’t happy about their school looking at their activity on social media — regardless of the fact that social media posts are made public by the students themselves.

Education IT Talking Points

A Waterbury Record article looks at the debate at Harwood Union High School in Vermont about keeping video surveillance cameras on 24 hours a day — including when students and teachers are in the building. One board member commented, “There is a balance here between our safety and our liberties.”

In his blog for Huffington Post, Jim Taylor asks, “Will Technology Save Public Education?”