March 26, 2017

Inside Denver Insights: Tech in Ed and Biz, Too

Deanne Gertner
Technology continues to transform life as we know it at home, at work, and increasingly at school. Once tangential it’s now fundamental to learning with interactive white boards, online classes, chat forums and even virtual and augmented reality. Smart businesses understand that investing in students and technology early on will lead to employees with the technical and critical thinking skills needed to solve tomorrow’s biggest challenges.

For our March 22, 2017 Inside Denver Twitter chat with Blake Communications we got ed-tech experts to give us the inside scoop with a healthy dollop of business on top.

Code Work

Technology can help kids in and outside the classroom like software that makes homework easier for students and parents alike. Apps such as Nepris virtually connect students with industry professionals. But probably the most profound change has been the rise of coding from an after school Minecraft Educational Club to reprogramming a Google Home into an interactive history robot.

Insight #1: Coding is the new reading, writing and arithmetic.

Futures Investors

Colorado businesses have recognized the importance of investing in education in order to build a foundation for a strong workforce. With philanthropic gifts in the millions, apprenticeship programs to gain hands-on experience and partnerships with industries as diverse as utilities, manufacturing, gaming and big tech, Colorado students now have more opportunities to peek behind the curtain of the business world.

Insight #2: The center of the tech-education-business Venn diagram is where it’s at.

Destination: Integration

Collaboration, partnership and community engagement will remain priorities to strengthen education through technology and prepare tomorrow’s leaders today. From job shadowing programs to deeper, more thoughtful user-experience design, technology companies, educators and the business community must work together to improve students’ knowledge from the ground up.

Insight #3: Connect the dots early and often to maximize student potential.

Tech in the Classroom

Bringing technology into the classroom can be tricky not only due to technology’s constant state of change but also because of disparities in equity, funding issues and skepticism from parents. There’s a ton to unpack and decide for every district, every school and every classroom. And the decisions aren’t one and done but rather ongoing for a new digital normal.

Insight #4: Schools only have one viable choice: go digital—and the sooner the better.

Teach the Teach

It’s not enough to simply give teachers technology tools; they’ve got to understand how to use them (of course). Perhaps most importantly, teachers must understand how to leverage technology in the classroom, for each individual student and in the world at large. They’ve got to see the forest and the trees and rally their students to do the same. As Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said, “Technology is just a tool. To get kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.

Insight #5: For all the slick tech tools out there, nothing beats a great teacher.

Want to get in with the Inside Denver inner circle? Follow us on Twitter and stay tuned for upcoming chats with Blake Communications.