Online Summit TODAY at 1 p.m. ET: Teaching Math in a Pandemic. Register Now
Education

Educators Storm the Hill for More Ed-Tech Support

July 01, 2009 1 min read

With the National Educational Computing Conference taking place in the nation’s capital, there was a rare chance for hundreds of enthusiastic educators to make their presence, and their demands for ed-tech-friendly policies, known to members of Congress and their staffs.

A caravan of buses dropped the large group of ed-tech advocates off on Capitol Hill well-prepared to school lawmakers on the challenges they face in trying to integrate technology and make learning more relevant and engaging for today’s digital natives.

The educators were lobbying for a restoration of the federal education technology funding in the next budget, as well as ongoing support for the e-rate program and the Preparing Teachers to be Digital Learners program.

“With this event being in Washington, it’s a great opportunity when we have our legislators all in one place to get our message to them,” said Terri Besnahan, director of technology for the Addison School District #4 in Illinois. “If we’re all delivering the same message, we have power in numbers and unity.”

Bresnahan and the corps of about 20 Illinois educators, all dressed in royal blue conference t-shirts, held meetings with their Senators and Representatives, or their staffers, to brief them about the potential for using technology to transform classrooms. Without funding, they said, all students will not have access to the tools they need to build knowledge and skills essential to success in the global workforce.

“Schools may be connected to the Internet, but because we don’t have the right equipment and the right training, we can’t use the technology tools that we need to improve teaching and learning,” Henry Thiele, the technology director in the 7,000-student Maine Township School District 207 in Park Ridge, Ill., told staff members of in Sen. Roland Burris’, D-Ill.

Ford Porter, a legislative correspondent, told the group that education is one of Sen. Burris’ top priorities, but that the topic is being overshadowed by the high interest among lawmakers over the nation’s health care crisis.

The teachers and administrators relayed tales of outdated computers and a lack of professional development opportunities geared toward the effective use of technology in the classroom.

“These are very, very real problems, and for the most part they are fixable,” Porter told the group. “We just gotta go out and find the funding.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.

Events

School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure
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
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Branding your district matters. This webinar will provide you with practical tips and strategies to elevate your brand from three veteran professionals, each of whom has been directly responsible for building their own district’s brand.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
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
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. school districts are using hybrid learning right now with varying degrees of success. Students and teachers are getting restless and frustrated with online learning, making curriculum engagement difficult and disjointed. While
Content provided by Samsung

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read