NEW YORK—As part of a push to create a global workforce, the U.S. government is spending millions to equip educators and other experts in the humanities and social sciences with the tools they need to understand how the technology industry works.
The Education Technology Infrastructure Fund, which has been set up to help build these technologies and train the next generation of leaders, is the latest initiative to tap into the nascent talent pool of students and teachers eager to learn new skills.
It’s also a stark departure from the U’s traditional approach to teaching, which focused on curriculum and tests.
Since the government started funding these programs, however, the amount of money being spent on them has ballooned, from about $4.5 billion in 2009 to $9 billion in the latest fiscal year, according to data compiled by The Wall Street Journal.
That’s a far cry from the $60 billion the U was spending to train its workforce in 2009, and a far bigger chunk of that money is being used to buy new machines and train teachers on new software.
“The idea is to have a system that’s very powerful and very effective,” said Steven D. Bell, a professor of educational technology at Georgetown University.
“I’m not sure we’re there yet.”
Teachers, educators, and other tech experts are taking on new roles.
As the education technology industry matures, so too will the role of educators.
“I would love to see a world where every one of these people could learn and write code,” said Stephanie Pappas, a former educator who now runs an app called Code.org that teaches people how to write and test code, and runs the UTeach program.
Teachers have long used coding as a tool for learning, but with the advent of new tools and software, they are now also putting more emphasis on the tools and the technology that goes with them.
The $7 million education technology fund will fund training in three areas: teaching students and parents, software development and development, and coding.
It will also fund training for teachers to help them understand how software is being deployed across industries and how students are learning and using it, said Laura Evers, the chief operating officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts.
She said that while education technology could be a major boost to a country’s ability to innovate, it’s also critical to creating and supporting a workforce that can innovate with and for students.
“In order to grow the economy, we need to have more people who are willing to learn and who are capable of building systems that we can then scale,” she said.
“The education technology sector is poised to be a vital part of the workforce, but we also need to do everything we can to keep them.”
As the tech industry matulates, so do the jobs for educators.
In recent years, the number of people who teach in the U has grown from about 25,000 to about 55,000, said Dora DeYoung, director of the Education Technology Institute at George Washington University.
That number has more than doubled from 2010 to 2018, to more than 3 million people.
DeYoung and other analysts say that in the next few years, as technology develops, teachers will become increasingly important in how the nation develops and deploys its digital education.
Teacher salaries, for example, will go up as the industry matrates.
Teachers will have to make more than $200,000 a year to teach a typical college class.
That will grow to $280,000 by 2025.
They will also be competing with students who are now taught by a virtual classroom.
“Teachers are going to be in a position where they have to innovate on a more global scale, and they will be competing on a global scale,” DeYoung said.
Teaching is also a critical part of what the U calls “the digital workforce,” which is composed of teachers, administrators, and business analysts.
The UTeacher program will help prepare these professionals to help students learn new technologies and develop their skills.
In addition to teaching students, the program will also provide training for business analysts to help employers understand the latest developments in the technology sector.
The program will provide an apprenticeship for those who work in digital technology for the U and other countries, helping them improve their skills and build the skills that employers need.
The UTeachers program will be funded by $4 billion in grants from the Department of Education and $1 billion in federal student loans, and will be administered by the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve has provided more than 100,000 loans to help pay for the program.
The Federal Reserve will pay the salaries of the U teachers through the Federal Home Loan Bank, the largest loan guarantee agency in the country.
The program will cost about $200 per teacher per year, but it will help them build skills in areas like software development, technology administration, and computer science that they might not otherwise have access to.