Opinion
Ed-Tech Policy Letter to the Editor

Technology’s Role Is Key in Dropout-Prevention Efforts

July 31, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Aristotle said it best: “The fate of empires depends on the education of youth.”

As the graduation-rate data in your Diplomas Count special issue (“Graduation Profile,” June 12, 2007) demonstrate, the line between success and failure in preventing students from dropping out of school is razor-thin. Research suggests that an approach focusing on prevention, intervention, and re-enrolling dropouts is the most effective solution to this national problem. Technology is on the forefront of these efforts, and may just give educators, families, and communities the edge they need to keep students from giving up.

Prevention. The challenges found in many of today’s classrooms continue to create feelings of disconnection and isolation among students. The interactive nature of technology reconnects these students and makes larger classrooms feel smaller. Technology enables each student to learn content customized for his or her appropriate level, and can address specific learning needs through one-on-one differentiated instruction. These applications of technology significantly reduce students’ academic fears and frustrations—a critical step in dropout prevention.

Intervention. Intervention works best when students are identified early on as being at risk of dropping out. Technology can help teachers and administrators better track student attendance and academic performance. At the click of a mouse, school officials can observe the attendance and performance of a classroom and access specific information about each student.

Re-enrolling dropouts. Technology provides both an innovative solution for reducing chronic absenteeism and a vehicle for students to earn multiple credits quickly. Students can access today’s technology on a 24-7 basis at many locations (such as school, home, or a community center), enabling them to get caught up on their studies during weekends or evening hours.

With the potential loss of billions of dollars in wages, tax revenue, and productivity for states, the issue of students’ dropping out isn’t just a concern for schools; it’s a concern for our communities.

Louis Piconi

Chief Executive Officer

Apangea Learning

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Ed-Tech Policy Schools Need More Money for Students' Home Internet, Education Groups Tell Congress
Most K-12 students are back to learning in-person, but the homework gap persists and millions of students could lose their home internet.
3 min read
Photograph of a young girl reading, wearing headphones and working at her desk at home with laptop near by.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Ed-Tech Policy What Educators Should Know About Biden's 'AI Bill of Rights'
The White House outlined some core principles that address the pitfalls of artificial intelligence.
5 min read
Image shows a conceptual circuit board with "AI" grid lit up in the center.
Getty
Ed-Tech Policy Home Internet for Students or District Cybersecurity: Where Should the Money Go?
The homework gap persists at the same time that cyberattacks against schools are on the rise.
4 min read
Illustration of boy with a cellphone and boy at a desk with a laptop with WiFi error messages and symbols around them.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Ed-Tech Policy Low-Income Families Can Qualify for Free Internet, But Schools Should Explain How
There has been a steep drop in the number of school districts paying for low-income families' internet access.
3 min read
A team of people build a path across the digital divide.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty