Budget plan gives ed tech the boot... again

The Federal Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program, which helps put technology into the hands of students in classrooms across the country, is slated for zero funding for the fifth straight year under President Bush's 2009 budget proposal. And for the fifth straight year, advocates of educational technology* will look to Congress to preserve the program, which this year -- thanks to Congress -- will receive $267 million in funding.

I guess the real question here is "who cares"? I'm not actually sure I do. Personally, I think many schools have plenty of technology initiatives that they don't maximize the usage of right now. Sure, new ideas and initiatives come down the pike all the time but do they REALLY need to be purchased. It is not fact that a school has the technology that makes a difference, rather it is the meaningful use of that technology - by a skillful teacher and motivated students - that creates a lasting impact. I could do plenty of creative, innovative, interdisciplinary teaching with a ten year old iMac, HyperStudio 3.0, KidPix and ClarisWorks. I don't need new and shiny (although I'm a big fan of it for me personally). Spend the $$ somewhere else. Give it to DC public schools to build adequate schools.

* Who are these advocates? My guess is they are the companies that stand to benefit from technology spending. The Microsofts, Smart Technologies, and Blackboard.coms of the world. Let's not be snowed by slick advertising and questionable research showcasing the educational gains.

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