This article in Business Week points to a problem with technology that many CIOs and CTOs struggle with—the ongoing costs associated with maintaining the tools and training teachers on how to use them. Although President Barack Obama has set aside money for educational technology in the economic stimulus package, funding through the Enhancing Education Through Technology program is slated to be slashed from $269 million to just $100 million in the fiscal 2010 federal budget.
The overall consequence of that decision could be that while there might money for a one-time investment in technology for schools, there will likely be little left over for ongoing costs like maintenance and professional development—both of which I hear over and over from school technology administrators are essential components for successful implementation of technology in the classroom.
The article also mentioned a new initiative called Project RED, a wide-scale research and advocacy initiative that will investigate what’s working with technology in schools and how technology can help schools save money. (The RED in the name stands for Revolutionizing Education.)
The project, headed up by the One-to-One Institute and other ed-tech advocacy organizations, will be producing reports throughout the 2009-10 school year. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this to see what they come up with.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.