Advocates for school technology were disappointed that funding for the federal Enhancing Education Through Technology program was downsized by more than a third in the final bill from a proposed $1 billion. But they noted that the measure contains several other pots of money slated for technology, along with other money—though not earmarked for education technology...
Ed Tech got a bum deal in this stimulus package. There's no other way to put it. As we noted here before, the $650 million allotment means 20 bucks in tech ed for each of our K through 8 public school students. That doesn't even count high school.
Most of the folks on Capital Hill have no idea what Web 2.0 means, let alone do they understand how it is having and increasingly will have an impact on education. The fact that the biggest debate going on in public education in Washington right now has to do with what to rename NCLB demonstrates unequivocally that Republican and Democratic politicians alike just don't get it.
What really riles me up is that it's presented in such a way as if Ed Tech is just 'one more thing' or just 'the latest idea' in education.
Get this folks: unlike almost every single educational idea that's come down the pike since Dewey, this one was NOT rooted in educational theory. Ed Tech is not some theory that some egghead from MIT came up with. Culture itself has already transformed into the Digital Age. If anything, education is playing a game of 'catch-up' with culture.
When it comes to Ed Tech, there's no choice involved. The landscape has already changed. This isn't about buying pretty computers. This is about giving our children the opportunity to actively take part in the global 21st century world. If we do not let them take part; if we do not engage them with technology; if we do not become both efficient ourselves and facilitators for the next generation -- then we are headed for failure.
And as a culture we will be so far behind the curve, there will never be a chance again to catch up -- let alone lead.
Ed Tech Stimulus would not only create jobs by immediately filling IT positions in every public school in this country; it would not only encourage growth, accessibility, and Wi-Fi initiatives across our urban centers; it would not only create a new marketplace for ideas and innovation; it would fundamentally offer a new generation of students an authentic and fulfilling education. And sure-as-heck we're gonna need the next generation to be smart enough and wise enough and CONNECTED enough to fix all the problems that my generation and my parents' generation created.