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Conference to highlight technology's impact on learning

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2013 11:55 AM

By now, many parents and educators are aware of the Common Core State Standards' intended goals, which include raising K-12 students' level of preparedness for college and the workforce. However, what some people may not know is how using technology for educational purposes can prepare pupils for tomorrow's challenges.

Officials from the U.S. Department of State are among those who understand technology's impact on academic and personal development among students. In fact, the Department will host the Tech@State: EdTech conference Nov. 1 to highlight technology's growing importance in the nation's education sector, as well as its eventual impact on national security.

A stronger country
Any nation that places a focus on its development and diplomacy is likely to be in a better position on the world stage. The effects technology has had on education and how it helps the U.S. experience positive growth will receive a focus at Tech@State, according to a Department press release.

Open education resources, games for learning, mobile education and equal access to education for girls, women and people with disabilities are among many topics the conference will also touch on. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan will kick things off, while Lila Ibrahim, president of Coursera, will deliver a keynote address on massive open online courses.

Igniting a passion
There is no denying that exposure to various forms of technology, from smartphones and tablet computers to the Internet and electronic whiteboards, can spark a passion for them at an early age. After using different types of devices throughout their schooling, kids may become open to the idea of pursuing careers in technology fields.

At the very least, they will arrive at college or their first job feeling more confident in their abilities to do research on the Web or fill out a spreadsheet, among other tasks.

Important careers
With more of a handle on technology, many students could be well-equipped for careers that require them to protect the nation's computer networks from cyber attacks. According to the White House, President Barack Obama has called the cyber threat "one of the most serious economic and national security challenges" the nation faces.

The more workers there are who are prepared to address these technological dangers, the better off the country is likely to be.