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Raise Your Hand: Helping Students Achieve Success Through Innovative Technology

Posted by on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Today is the kick-off for a campaign called “Raise Your Hand”.  The National Education Association (NEA) is promoting ideas to help educators assist their students to reach their goals and achieve success. Innovative technology can assist teachers to help raise students to the next level.

Raise Your Hand

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The “Raise Your Hand” campaign is billed as a “day of innovation, inspiration and invitation”. They are holding their annual meeting today and this will be the theme for this year. The campaign will continue nationwide by providing teachers with resources and programs to improve the quality of education for our students.

America has great schools, but they are not perfect. Students are graduating from high school and many of them don’t have even the basic reading and math skills that you would expect after 12 years of education.

Reading Comprehension

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Public charter schools are doing a better job, according to a recent study by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO). Math and reading scores of low income students were significantly higher in those who attended charter schools. Charter schools are primary and secondary schools that receive public funding and private donations. They are public schools, however they receive less funding than local schools. Charter schools are schools of choice and they can develop their own curriculum without following the rules of a school board.

Part of the problem with public schools is that they teach the same thing they have been teaching since us older folks went to school.  They haven’t kept pace with the new technological world in the way that they should. While schools have computers and teach certain skills, in today’s world, children, especially those at the high school age should be learning topics like Internet security and data breaches.


Teenagers are preparing for college or university, but some children can’t afford higher education and they need to be given the tools in high school to get a job that will possibly inspire them to be more ambitious and build a career.

While students may learn how to build a spreadsheet, they are using it for basic math. A great teaching module is SSAC or Teaching with Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum. These modules teach students using PowerPoint presentations with embedded Excel spreadsheets. Students learn how to build spreadsheets to solve problems. This is “teaching to promote quantitative literacy”.

We know that schools are sadly lacking in funding, and innovative software often isn’t in the budget, but showing students how to use programs such as a PDF to Excel converter will help them with their university or college education, and teach them about time management.

This will certainly be an advantage when they get out into the corporate world or start their own business.

Does a Higher Education Guard Against Unemployment

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Innovative technology also helps teachers working at all school levels to do their job. The International Association of Special Education Conference is taking place next week. Educators in this field are doing important work and they are also underfunded. Any program or software that can make their job easier is well deserved.

Students need to learn the basics, but those who have pushed farther and learned how to be innovative thinkers and early adopters of technology are those who will have the advantage in the future. The next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs is probably sitting in class right now, bored and frustrated because he or she isn’t stimulated .  They aren’t given the chance to use advanced tools or techniques that will help them do their job as students and get them to the next level in their educational process. We need to change that now.