TECH 2014 event shows importance of tech funding in Illinois schools

By Amber Heffner
Director of Technology, WCHS District No. 308

The annual TECH 2014 Students for the Information Age event will be held Thursday, May 8, at the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield, Ill. Fifty-seven schools will be represented from throughout the state.

From 1 to 3 p.m., students will show the public and elected members of the Illinois State Senate and the House of Representatives how technology is being used in the classroom to increase student engagement and improve achievement. Student demonstrations can be viewed in the Capitol Building Rotunda. They will demonstrate how technology has helped them with their school work.

Taking part in the demonstrations locally is Rockford Auburn High School.

The purpose of TECH 2014 is to raise awareness of the critical role technology plays in preparing students to succeed in today’s world, and to show the need for increased funding for classroom technology. Students will demonstrate for lawmakers and the public the creative ways technology is being used to enhance and accelerate student achievement in Illinois schools today. The importance of this event lies in making the public aware of the central role technology has come to play in our schools and generating support for its adequate funding.

Entering the job force without a strong foundation in information-age technology is not an option for today’s high school and college graduates. Understanding computers and related tools is a requirement, even for entry-level jobs, and computer literacy is essential for further education and advancement in almost every academic sphere. From the elementary to the high school level, technology expands the walls of the traditional classroom, bringing in people and events from all over the globe.

Technology captures and holds the attention of this generation of learners far better than textbooks alone. Computers allow for more individualized instruction, as teachers, using technology, move from the traditional “sage on the stage” role to becoming “guides on the side,” providing students the tools they need to become more active in managing their own learning.

TECH 2014 is a not-for-profit initiative presented by Illinois Computing Educators (ICE), and is supported by a range of education and business organizations. Corporate Platinum Plus partners are Comcast and CDW-G.

Without the understanding and support of the public and the legislature, adequate public funding for education technology is hard to come by, and, without it, Illinois cannot remain competitive in the global economy.

Posted May 7, 2014

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