Technology: Integral to shopping, charitable giving and JA

It’s shopping season – that time of year when retailers battle for gift-giving dollars and Black Friday and Cyber Monday become sacred holiday shopping days. Interestingly, Cyber Monday has overtaken Black Friday as the biggest shopping day of the year. Online giving is growing as well, up 7.9% in 2016.

Online, we can research and shop from the comfort of our living rooms while enjoying a glass of wine and our favorite show on Netflix. The bottom line is that we love our technology, and it has revolutionized the way that we make purchases and invest in the community. It also is changing the way that we deliver JA, to be increasingly current and relevant.

At JA Finance Park, for example, students each use a tablet to manage a family budget. With technology, students stay actively engaged in their learning and gain technical skills, all as they make financial decisions about housing, utilities, transportation and more.  Technology also is a growing component of our classroom experiences. In fact, this year we are piloting several of our high school programs in a “blended” format, which enhances learning with video and other online and multi-media components.

Bill Gates makes the point that technology and business are inextricably interwoven and that we can’t talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other. That’s why we continually enhance our programs to reflect the current business environment. And, it’s really our volunteers who bring technology to life for students by sharing their own experiences and applications.

During this season of giving, I hope that you’ll consider supporting JA on Colorado Gives Day, December 5.  Your contribution will help ensure that our volunteers have the training and resources they need to continue to bring lively and relevant JA programs to today’s learners.  You make what we do possible!

Wishing you a truly wonderful holiday season.