Ed. Dept. Outlines How Schools Can Use Federal Funds to Sustain Tech Programs

School districts have a host of options for using federal funds to support digital learning programs started during the pandemic, a top U.S. Department of Education official told school district and state education leaders.

In a Jan. 25 letter to K-12 leaders, Roberto Rodriguez, the assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development at the department, emphasized that any tech investments made with federal dollars need to be part of a broad strategy to bolster teaching and learning.

“Technology itself is not a panacea,” he wrote. “Technology can help improve learning and educational outcomes for students only when teachers are well supported with appropriate resources and have an opportunity to integrate technology with high-quality instruction.”

The letter—which aims to offer advice and clarify existing laws and regulations for K-12 leaders, not direct spending decisions or make policy changes—comes as recent ed-tech investments approach a critical juncture. Within the next several years, many digital tools purchased with billions of dollars in one-time COVID relief funding will need to be replaced, almost certainly without another federal windfall to cover the cost.

At the same time, many schools—particularly those that serve high numbers of children living in poverty, students in special education, and English learners—still don’t have the technological infrastructure they need to close achievement gaps and help kids recover academically from the pandemic, the letter noted.

Schools generally have until the fall of 2024 to use the last of their federal COVID relief dollars. Though early spending was sluggish, most districts are on pace to meet that deadline, according to a tracker created by the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

The department’s recommendations can help districts still pondering how to use the remainder of their relief funds, Kristina Ishmael, the deputy director for the Office of

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Health Tech | Health IT to promote self-care, individual responsibility | News

A new and popular wave of technology used in healthcare in the last decade or so is personal remote-care devices such as fitness trackers. This started an increase in the development of wellness apps and more involvement by persons in their health and well-being.

Since then, the healthcare IT industry has grown exponentially, and types of remote-care devices have been on the increase and incorporated into hospital and practice- management systems to create more holistic healthcare, with access from anywhere. This also enabled health professionals and organisations to be able to serve more people, including those who are immobile or can be better monitored through at-home care.

Remote-care devices span a large variety of health categories for which indices can be checked and monitored, including diabetes, heart conditions, blood pressure, mental health, and much more. They are a good way of keeping medical professionals abreast of the progress and constant condition of a patient even when they are not actively consulting.

Most hospital and practice-management systems can incorporate these indices into patients’ electronic medical records so that a history of their condition can easily be seen and used to track their progress, make decisions as to how best they should be treated, and assist them with prevention initiatives.

It is also a good way for people to self-track and make the lifestyle changes required to maintain good health. With the increased adaptation of e-health globally, there has been another push for remote=care devices to be used by individuals, but now also through their healthcare provider to promote individual responsibility, self-care and increased involvement in their ongoing health and well=being.

Self-care with respect to health, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), “is the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness

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