Advanced digital programs are transforming educational experiences. And as K-12 school districts and higher-ed institutions evolve to improve teacher and student experiences, the demand for innovation is driving the educational services sector in the US. Revenue is expected to increase by 6% to $1.5 trillion in 2022. In contrast, revenue for this sector decreased by an average of 0.2% per year from 2017 to 2021. (1)
Programs that find their way into US public schools and higher-ed will likely do so due to government funds. These are primarily driven by state and local governments leveraging funds that Congress has set aside.
For example, there’s approximately $13 billion of the $31 billion allotted to the Education Stabilization Fund, signed into law in March 2020. There’s also the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), signed into law in December 2020. It provides an additional $54 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund).
Privacy Protections and Skilled Workers Are Must-Haves
Within a key objective of the ESSER II Fund plan, there is a focus on the risks associated with the use of technology and a directive to improve privacy protections for education data. As educators and their technology partners deploy digital innovations, they will need to address the federal mandate in the plan to protect controlled, unclassified information transmitted, processed, stored, and destroyed by any higher-ed institutions eligible for Title IV. The plan also addresses the need to protect controlled, unclassified information in nonfederal systems and organizations. (2)
The education sector also needs more skilled workers and must train them early. The future will require talented individuals with the skills to keep innovating and creating new teaching and learning experiences, especially those that need technical skills. (3)
Another key is to educate the educators. A key driver that can make this happen is a strategic objective of the U.S. Department of Education 2022 Annual Performance Plan. It includes a requirement to increase the number of teachers with additional certifications and training in high-demand areas. The objective also calls for teachers who can effectively prepare students for career pathways through high-quality career and technical education programs—by designing instruction to engage and provide students with opportunities to think critically and solve complex problems. Teachers also need to apply their learning in authentic and real-world settings, communicate and collaborate effectively, and develop academic mindsets. This includes leveraging project-based, work-based, and other experiential learning opportunities through the effective integration of technology. (4)
Lack of Skilled Workers Requires Technology Partnerships
Some governments are taking action to educate on technical skills. For example, Ireland plans to increase the number of learners graduating with high-level ICT (Information, Communications, Technology) skills by more than 65% by the end of 2022. This number represents an additional 5,000 graduates, apprentices, and trainees who will be skilled in technologies vital to Ireland’s future growth. (5)
Until there is no longer a shortage of skilled workers, educational organizations will need to find a way to innovate within their means. This includes collaborating with technology and staffing partners when and where appropriate.
Contact Taos today for more information on how schools and their technology partners can transform educational experiences with advanced digital programs.
1 – Educational Services in the US – Market Size 2005–2027, IBISWorld, August 2021
2, 4 – FY 2022 Annual Performance Plan, U.S. Department of Education, May 2021
3 – Schools of the Future: Defining New Models of Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum, January 2020
5 – Technology Skills 2022: Ireland’s Third ICT Skills Action Plan, Government of Ireland, February 2019