Another week, another wave of big news across education. From the continued conversations on ESSER, the impacts of technology, and what state officials are pushing for, there's plenty to pay attention to. For this edition of the DE EdTech News Roundup, we’ll cover:
Education technology (EdTech) combines teaching and learning strategies with digital tools. In an increasingly digital and interconnected world, EdTech tools aren’t just about the tech! They can take learning to the next level, making lessons more relevant and engaging for students, while also helping educators save time.
The new State of Technology in Education reports that educators consider technology critical to effective education. In fact, of the 1,700 educators survey, 99% reported that technology is an essential tool for making teaching easier. That includes key priority areas for schools, like student wellness, engagement, and educator retention.
In this article, a Florida educator shares how combining interactive EdTech resources with student choice encourages engagement, ownership, and academic success. It also showcases the power of EdTech resources for teaching and learning, like Discovery Education’s Science Techbook series.
Gamifying education remains a popular tactic to engage students and a popular topic in K-12 education. An educator from California writes about how she captures and sustains student’s attention in financial literacy with gamified resources, including Discover Venture Valley (a program from The Singleton Foundation and Discovery Education).
ESSER is still in action! The Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund (ESSER) are congressionally-approved rounds (3 total) of relief aid totaling $190 billion for school districts. We’re in Round II (due September 30, 2023) and districts and EdTech companies continue to gear up for Round III (due September 30, 2024).
In relation to ESSER, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said: “The time is now. This is our moment. It’s up to all of us to raise the bar in education.”
Read some key stories about what’s happening with ESSER and how it continues to impact K-12 education.
According to ED’s Education Stabilization Fund Transparency Portal, about 66% of ESSER II funds and about 25% of the $91 billion in ESSER III funds had been allocated as of February 2023. This article summarizes the budget and planning guidance various EdTech companies have offered to school districts as they determine how to spend their funding in a sustainable manner.
Discovery Education’s Vice President of Partner Success, Dr. Todd Wirt, writes how ESSER is an unprecedented opportunity to jumpstart innovation in K-12 education nationwide. Based on discussions he had with school superintendents across the country, he learned that there are several critically important factors school leaders must keep in mind when evaluating how they will utilize their remaining federal stimulus funding.
In a recent webinar, Director of Georgetown University’s Edunomics Lab, Marguerite Roza, stated that “School closures may become necessary for districts that continue to overspend without producing meaningful outcomes.” Schools have come to rely on ESSER funds, but as they dry up in 2024, that will change school districts’ plans. As some districts use these funds for recurring financial commitments via budget backfilling, new hires, or permanent raises, the current budget choices will greatly impact future spending ability.
Insights from Education Leaders
While each governor has their own unique plans for education in their state, there are many common priorities among various state leaders.
Surprisingly, gubernatorial speeches this year have not referenced the COVID pandemic in relation to education. Instead, state leaders are focusing on key topics like the teaching profession, school choice, curriculum and instruction, early and higher ed, workforce development, and mental health.
Catch up on some of the theories and tools that have been starting conversations among educators.
While educators learned these theories in school, a refresher is always good, especially given that EdTech tools rely on various learning models and theories.
You’ve probably seen ChatGPT everywhere but maybe you’re not sure what it is. Here’s a good explainer on ChatGPT and its potential, and current, impacts on education according to an educator in Pennsylvania.