Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ed Tech Funding – Help!

The “Enhancing Education Through Technology” program is about to die. HELP! In many states and school districts, this is the ONLY funding for educational technology. Congress first approved EETT as part of No Child Left Behind, with the idea that technology plays a big part in improving “student achievement, ensuring high quality teaching, and increasing parental involvement…” (this quote from ISTE – International Society for Technology in Education). We use technology in so many ways to connect to parents – through a weekly email listserv, school website, Twitter, blogs, and wiki’s.

As Congress begins to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, it is certain that technology should play a large role in making (1) equity in teacher quality across all schools (2) creating data systems to follow students over time – allowing for more research into what is working and then duplicating those traits (3) making a better test – one that fairly shows what a child knows, not just what they can do on a multiple choice test in a segment of time – and improving state standards (4) supporting schools that need help – not throwing out the baby with the bath water – helping all students learn.

In North Carolina, the IMPACT grant funds have shown that teacher retention is higher and students are 33% more likely to improve one full grade level each year as compared to non IMPACT schools. IMPACT can be found on the web at http://www.ncwiseowl.org/Impact/igrant/
This is a document that provides coordination of the library media and instructional technology programs to enhance learning. Schools apply for this grant which includes teacher training, flexible staffing in the library and tech labs, and hiring of a technology facilitator and assistant. This team of library and technology work with classroom teachers to implement technology through-out the curriculum. This grant is funded from EETT. Last year 11 new applications were accepted into this program, which has run successfully since 2003.