Part Two of Persuading Funders
Persuading Funders to Support Your Technology Program
Part 2: Workforce Prep
–By Heather Chirtea and Eric Bird
Series blog – 2 of 6
This is argument 2 of 6, and in today’s blog we will be going over how to argue for technology in schools in relation to workforce preparation.Don’t forget to frame your arguments based on who you are asking. For parents emphasize that their child will be making more money in future occupations if they are proficient with computers.
● Students need to be equipped for the future workforce. For our students to secure jobs they will need to be fluent in technology. As technology funding erodes, our teachers become progressively less able to prepare students for future employment in the rapidly expanding global economy.
● Statistics. The Journal of Industrial Technology reports that over the past 2 decades, enrollment in technical degrees has decreased by as much as 11%, while the demand for technical workers has risen by 29%.
● Businesses are sounding the alarm and demanding 21st century skills. Without students receiving adequate exposure to technology in schools, it becomes increasingly difficult to find and hire technologically qualified graduates from the local economy. It’s a silent and cumulative crisis that now threatens to undermine our children’s future. The workforce demands that students are able to research, create new knowledge, work in teams, problem solve, and process information from a variety of sources.
● Economic Development. There’s a connection between the school’s technology initiative, the future economic development of the workforce, and community-wide economic development. Consider this: if students are tech-savvy, then businesses hiring technology workers will be able to hire locally and sustain or grow their operations. Graduates who find local jobs will stay in local communities, raise families, buy houses, contribute to the tax base, and start new local businesses. A technologically rounded education has the downstream effect of promoting the economic development and future growth of an entire community. It sparks systemic change.
● Technology sparks entrepreneurship and offers global reach. The Internet empowers new entrepreneurs to work from anywhere, start businesses, and bring new growth opportunities to local communities. Savvy employees are equipped to expand businesses into wider markets.
● Show of hands. Ask how many people use computers in their jobs. Once the hands go up, it is pretty easy to discuss why technology is so important to educate students.
In next week’s blog we will go over how to argue that technology is a key ingredient to college preparation.
Check out the Research:
This article is based on a national survey of 242 educators and administrators, interviews with 27 technology leaders, and our own personal experience implementing 1:1 computing programs in 30 schools. For more information check out our research in education technology.