As a passionate Economics major in college (which grew into an MBA), I find Econ at the root of much of the world around us. It starts with counting coins in first and second grade and grows up to a peek into NASDAQ and other adult subjects in middle school.
In the US, tax day is April 15th. Here are some good websites to discuss what is probably a popular topic in families:
- BrainPOP | Taxes
- A history of US taxes
- Taxes–from Crash Course Economics
- Where does your money go? — lesson plan from PBS
- TurboTax Tax Calculator
After April 15th, there are great ways to teach about economics, financial literacy, and prepare students for managing their lives fiscally once they’re launched into the world:
Preparing students for college or career is arguably the biggest goal for High School. I like the focus of this particular principal, spotlighted in an article in The 74 Million:
Principal’s View: To Prepare Students to Enter a Tech-Focused Business World, Create Schools With the Workplace in Mind
Consider the world students face when they graduate. For many, their choices lead to college, vocational training or manufacturing careers that rely heavily on advanced technologies — from robotics and 3-D printing to equipment powered by artificial intelligence. Two decades from now, their jobs will be even more tech-focused, as workplaces adopt innovations we’ve yet to even imagine.
Check out these Ask a Tech Teacher articles and resources on College and Career:
When kids read that America’s $30 trillion+ debt is accepted by many experts as ‘business as usual’, I wonder how that news will affect their future personal finance decisions. Do they understand the consequences of unbalanced budgets? The quandary of infinite wants vs. finite dollars? Or do they think money grows on some fiscal tree that always blooms? The good news is: Half of the nation’s schools require a financial literacy course. The bad new is: Only half require a financial literacy course.
I’ve noticed news stories about schools adding financial literacy to the High School course load (yay!). If your school doesn’t teach personal economics but would like to, there are many online sites that address the topic as mini-lessons. Some are narrative; others games. Here are some I like. See if one suits you:
Banzai is a personal finance curriculum that teaches high school and middle school students how to prioritize spending decisions through real-life scenarios and choose-your-own adventure (kind of) role playing. Students start the course with a pre-test to determine a baseline for their financial literacy. They then engage in 32 life-based interactive scenarios covering everything from balancing a budget to adjusting for unexpected bills like car trouble or health problems. Once they’ve completed these exercises, they pretend that they have just graduated from high school, have a job, and must save $2,000 to start college. They are constantly tempted to mis-spend their limited income and then must face the consequences of those actions, basing decisions on what they learned in the 32 scenarios. Along the way, students juggle rent, gas, groceries, taxes, car payments, and life’s ever-present emergencies. At the end, they take a post-test to measure improvement in their financial literacy.
The program is free, takes about eight hours (depending upon the student), and can include printed materials as well as digital.
I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal discussing the dramatic decline in men applying for and graduating from two and four-year colleges. Here’s the introductory piece of the discussion:
Men are abandoning higher education in such numbers that they now trail female college students by record levels.
At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group. U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline.
This education gap, which holds at both two- and four-year colleges, has been slowly widening for 40 years. The divergence increases at graduation: After six years of college, 65% of women in the U.S. who started a four-year university in 2012 received diplomas by 2018 compared with 59% of men during the same period, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
While the reasons for the decline are varied and complicated, the solutions mind-numbing, if your high school students are looking for alternatives to traditional four-year college and University environment, run through this simple matrix to see which you’re better suited for:
Then, check out these articles discussing how to prepare for the choice best for you:
Whether you pick college or career, students need to prepare a resume. Here are resources to create one that’s professional and thorough:
- Google Docs–go to Docs.Google.com and select Resume template
- PorfolioGen–A free site that lets you collect all the pieces of your experience into one nicely-formatted digital place.
- Resume Builder
- Resume Generator
- Student CV Builder
- Wix–This is free with lots of templates so you can share exactly the right image. Here are examples.
- WordPress–Use a free WordPress blog, but instead convert the pages to topics discussed below. Here’s an example.
There’s still time this school year to help high school students learn the skills they’ll require to thrive in Higher Education. Here are basics you don’t want them to graduate without–from one of our Ask a Tech Teacher contributors:
4 Ways to Help High School Students Develop the IT Skills They’ll Need for Higher Education
Being able to use technology to its fullest is vital for students as they move from high school into higher education, yet it is not enough to assume that they will pick these skills up on their own.
Teachers can be proactive in their approach to fostering IT abilities in students, and here are just a few sensible strategies that will make this easier to achieve.
Leverage remote learning tools
Remote learning has become a reality for millions of people recently, and a study of higher education IT found that 70% of universities are planning to take a hybrid approach to teaching in the coming year. This means that students need to be familiar with the tools and techniques that are involved in this scenario, so that they do not fall behind their better-prepared peers.
That is not to say that teachers should simply pile in every remote learning tool and app available to them just for the sake of it; think about which tools and resources are actually appropriate for the subject in question, and use these in a way that makes a positive impact to the students’ experience. This will avoid making the process of remote learning overwhelming, while still giving them an understanding of what solutions will be part of their higher education ecosystem going forward.
This is such an important topic! Often kids–and parents–see tech as complicated, daunting, all-math-and-science. Kids think they’re not ‘smart’ enough and maybe, parents think that too! Here are great suggestions for encouraging young participation in a field that is probably the top choice for jobs:
4 Ways to Inspire Kids to Pursue a Degree In Information Technology
In this tech-centric day and age, the demand for science, technology, math, and engineering skills has spiked significantly, and it only seems to increase. This is evident in how an increasing number of schools offer information technology degrees. There isn’t a single day that we don’t interact with technology. However, while the vast majority of people understand how to use technology, far too few want to understand how technology works.
It’s intimidating to delve into the finer details on the functionality of tech. Most people know how to use a social media platform, but show no interest in understanding the coding behind it. How then, can we spark such an interest in our children?
Start With Toys
Playtime eventually evolves into work time, and toys have a powerful influence on a child’s interests, thinking, behavior, and creative expression. Educational toy manufacturers such as Sphero, Kiwi Co., and Sparkfun create toys that help children learn about coding, circuitry, engineering, and many other STEM fields.
Celebrate With Tech
Introduce your child into the culture of science by holding their next birthday at a science center or a discovery museum. Sure, many schools organize field trips to these places, but if you want your child to gain a genuine interest in these things, you need to try to introduce it on a more personal level. It’s much easier to pique a child’s interest when an element of fun is introduced.
As High School seniors prepare to graduate, many will choose something about computers for their job or continued studies. There’s no greater excitement than being part of the team that puts a face on the internet with web design. Here’s a great overview of that field from a school that prepares students for this future job:
How do I become a web designer?
Many of our older students are now considering what careers they wish to pursue. Some will decide to work locally while some will either choose to study locally or abroad. With information technology playing an integral role in all our lives and with even the smallest of businesses having a website, we have seen an increasing trend in the number of students who wish to become web designers. Of course, this has become a complex field with lots of competition, even when qualified.
As a international school in Bangkok, we always encourage pupils to follow their dream careers and seek employment in something that they enjoy. As part of our role as educators, we must prepare students for what to expect in the world of work. In particular, our HS students often need guidance about how to begin their journey, and our careers team are always available to make suggestions and offer help as required. In this article, we will look at what is necessary to become a web designer upon leaving school.
What is the role of a web designer?
Web designers conduct work on various types of website, either for themselves, the company that they work for or for their own clients. It can cover a broad range of topics from relatively simple blogger sites to complicated e-commerce websites with multiple landing pages and sometimes hundreds of thousands of products. However, the role also involves other aspects, aside from the technical points, and this can often go overlooked.
A web designer will need to meet clients to establish what they require for their site. It will include gaining an insight into their business, their objectives and their client base. From here, it is the designer’s job to formulate a plan, showing the structure of the website, including choosing text, background and colour schemes. In some cases, the web designer may be asked for their advice regarding branding and the inclusion of multimedia.
After the site has been completed, the web designer will conduct thorough testing and once complete, upload the site to a server, from where it will be available to the public. Some clients may ask the web designer to work with them on an ongoing basis, managing the site, and uploading fresh content.
If you’re a senior in HS looking to continue your tech education, we have a list of the ten best colleges that will help you perfect your skills:
10 Best Colleges in the USA to Study Computer Science
Computer Science is a desirable degree for many students as it has great prospects and is linked to innovation in technology. It is important to choose the right school for acquiring a degree. US colleges offer great education and some of them are the top choices, especially for Computer Science.
If you want to study in one of the top universities, choose one of the following colleges that are universally appraised.
No such list can be full without the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It has been leading almost any top list for many years and continues offering great education.
The Computer Science department is the largest at this college and provides excellent research and study opportunities. The representatives of MIT have made an outstanding contribution to the innovations in the fields of artificial intelligence, cybernetics, and robotics. The only downside is that studying here can be quite challenging as the curriculum is dense, so many students choose to use case study writing service to get help.
But it is what comes with one of the best programs in the country and the world.
2 Stanford University
Stanford is located near the famous Silicon Valley, which is known to be the capital of all technology and computer science in the world. It offers an outstanding program for students to apply.
The Computer department was founded in 1965 and has a prominent history. One of the main attractions for students is that a lot of top world technological corporations are located right near Stanford.
It is also known for helping students with their start-ups and offering a great Business program. Many young entrepreneurs started their companies as a university project.
As High School seniors prepare to graduate, many will choose something about computers for their job or continued studies. Here’s a great overview from an Ask a Tech Teacher contributor of what one of those fields–working with the powerful algorithms that drive search and research–is about:
What are search engine algorithms?
For many students who are approaching school leaving age, they will already have decided the career path which they wish to take. Not surprisingly, given the role it plays in our everyday lives, many choose to pursue a career in IT. Of course, this is an incredibly broad topic. Still, in this article, we will focus predominantly on aspects relating to websites, moreover, how they can help to achieve business goals and other objectives.
As an international school in Hong Kong, we do all we can to prepare our students for going out into the workplace. Our various IT classes cover a wide range of topics with web development, e-commerce and SEO all being covered to some degree. Indeed, it is three areas, which are all interlinked, where most students wish to work, understanding the professional opportunities that are likely to present themselves. However, for a website to fulfil its potential, it must satisfy the needs of search engine algorithms.
What is an algorithm?
Algorithms are not a new phenomenon and have been used as a part of mathematics for thousands of years. They are often mistaken for being a formula but are in actual fact a series of different formulas or ingredients. They are often likened to preparing a meal for a large group. However, the meals may essentially be the same; different people like it to be cooked differently. Some people might want their meat cooked rare while others like it well done, some like salt, some like pepper, and so on. The algorithm means that a different formula is required for each person.
Choosing what to do after high school used to be simple for those who had good grades: Apply to college. Now, not so much. For one thing, college has become increasingly more expensive and students are asking whether there’s enough value in what they get to offset the costs. Another worry: Colleges sometimes seem dangerous hotbeds of protests and riots. Professors seem biased rather than intent on opening minds.
Trade schools with their focus on preparing graduates for a career that contributes to society is an affordable, realistic option that even the best students are looking at. Here’s a quick decision matrix to help you through these options:
For more information, check out the plethora of articles Ask a Tech Teacher has on preparing for college or career:
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.