10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 10, 2011 5:59 PM by glen_w

    The funding is drying up. How will we sustain the technology?

      While searching for something else, I ran across this question - "Where will educators find the funds for equipment, software, technical staff, ongoing
      telecommunications services, professional development—the myriad of costs associated with a sophisticated information infrastructure?" This is becoming a serious concern and certainly will impact our efforts to help our students develop 21st century skills. Any thoughts/comments?

        • Re: The funding is drying up. How will we sustain the technology?
          glen_w

          WOW - what a powerful question. I have already noticed the changes in my own district. My district reduced the number of full time Technology Professional Development trainers to one. She is very overworked. I have been training teachers in Technology after school hours. I receive a stipend for my time - but I am sure it is significantly less than is paid to a full time trainer. Days that I train end up being 14 hours long between the time I get to my teaching position in the morning and when I finally finish the PD at the end of my day.

           

          I find the course offerings I was asked to teach quickly fill. Apparently a lot of teachers are craving Technology Professional Development. Like you, I recognize that Technology PD will not provide the technology tools needed by students and/or teachers. If we do not provide opportunities for students to learn by using technology, how can we ensure our youth are comfortable using technology appropriately?

           

          My state is known as the lowest funder of education in the USA. With this knowledge I do not believe there are any current plans to increasre funding in the comming year. What kind of partnerships might schools and districts pursue to ensure technology remains accessible by students and teachers?

            • Re: The funding is drying up. How will we sustain the technology?

              Wow...I totally agree with Glen....what am I seeing in my district?...TONS of cuts! We are closing schools so there is lots of change going on and not just with technology. I too like Glen am seeing the Tech facilitator role changing. My district is having a presenters academy to train 30 folks in being district trainers so they can absorb some of the work where a full time person may not be available. My answer to Beverly's questions...GRANTS and fundraising. We need to get our grant thread going again because I think many folks will be looking for dollars this school year.

                • Re: The funding is drying up. How will we sustain the technology?

                  Susan, we are having the same problem here in Arizona.  In Yavpai County, we started a tech academy this year which is starting to turn into a "train the trainer" model.  Districts are cutting staff, but don't want to eliminate technology PD, so..........  

                   

                  Neil

                  • Re: The funding is drying up. How will we sustain the technology?

                    I know this is off the technology conversation but I just saw this on "the talk" http://www.studentsfirst.org/pages/save-great-teachers - and it relates to funding and layoffs of teachers. The site is supporting layoffs that do not rely on the  the last in first out policy....Interesting!

                    • Re: The funding is drying up. How will we sustain the technology?
                      glen_w

                      Not to ignore Susan's "Grant discussion" request, I wanted to share briefly my experiences at this evening's PD. I taught the first of four evening trainings on Microsoft Word. I was very surprised that five of the twenty one participants were experienced teachers with minimal computer knowledge. These individuals struggled with saving documents in the same location each time. None of the five knew they could send themselves an email. Each also needed individual instruction on how to attach a document to an email. The bright side of the evening was ten teachers came up and said how excited they were with their new knowledge. One kindergarten teacher said she created something she can "use tomorrow!" I was reminded again how important it is in all trainings that we take people from where their current strengths are and move them forward towards digital proficiency.

                       

                      I've seen very few grant applications provided in the last six months. Are there many grants currently available? Inquiring minds want to know.

                  • Re: The funding is drying up. How will we sustain the technology?

                    What we are seeing in some of our districts in NY is that they are allowing the students to bring in their own devices and some teachers are developing lessons that can use an iphone, ipod touch, laptop etc instead of a specific device. They have tried to keep the cell phones out etc and it is a losing battle and they can't afford to keep up with the technology so if a student has it already they are able to use it.

                    The filtering and ability to save it in places can be problematic but some districts would rather go this way.

                    Some districts are also using vendors like Verizon to come in and wire their building for a fee but then the company maintains the network and upgrades it at no cost but you need to use their devices on the network. Some districts are looking to this to solve some of their financial issues. Lots of interesting solutions and some are more long term than others.

                      • Re: The funding is drying up. How will we sustain the technology?
                        glen_w

                        I would enjoy allowing my students to use any technology they bring with them to class. My district, however, has a very strong policy that prevents teachers from allowing students to use these technologies in the classroom. Yesterday afternoon, I saw my district IT Director. As we spoke about district IT policies, I decided to try a new method with him.

                         

                        Me: How many of our schools have a road in front of the school?

                        IT Director: All of them do.

                        Me: How many of these roads have cars that drive on them?

                        IT DIrector: All of them (with a look that appeared to say "You are SO dumb!")

                        Me: Have you ever heard of any students being hit by a car causing death or injury?

                        IT Director: Lots of times.

                        Me: Are we going to stop letting cars drive on roads by schools now?

                        ID Director: That's not the same.

                        Me: Why not - our students need to use technology effectively and should be taught how to do it appropriately.

                         

                        Now I'm wondering if I burned a bridge, or succeeded in helping our IT Director think differently about policies ... what do you think?

                      • Re: The funding is drying up. How will we sustain the technology?

                        Have any of you experienced a trend toward webinars as a way to deliver pd? This could possibly reach more pd participants  with fewer trainers. Thoughts?