K-12 Tech Trends :: September 27, 2006

 

Welcome to K-12 Tech Trends, which replaces T.H.E. Newsletter. Each week we’ll bring you a quick look at the latest news on technology trends and tools and how they are successfully used for instruction and administration. Leading experts and visionaries will share their opinions and insights on critical issues facing you daily. Let us here from you – send your thoughts, ideas, commentary, and news items to Editorial Director Geoff Fletcher, gfletcher@1105media.com

Opinion

Stop Being a Victim of Federal Funding Cuts!

As the new school year starts, many technologists and curriculum directors are waiting with bated breath to see if and how much of E 2T 2 (Enhancing Education Through Technology) federal funding will be restored by Congress. Many districts rely solely on this program for technology professional development, as well as for purchase of hardware and software. (E-Rate programs, the $2.25 billion federal funding source for telecom and infrastructure, has also been under attack but seems safe for the immediate future.)

The Bad News

E2T2 funding was cut from $496 million to $272 million (a 45 percent cut) in 2006 and eliminated in the president’s budget for 2007. And according to the State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA), we know that 14 states have only E2T2 funding to support their technology efforts. On a personal note, I was shocked when the Colorado Department of Education essentially gutted its technology program, retaining only one person to handle E-Rate. Additionally, we know from a recent study by The Hayes Connection and The Greaves Group, America’s Digital Schools 2006: A Five Year Forecast, that many districts rely more heavily on federal funding for technology than for all programs (14 percent versus 8 percent).

The Good News

State coffers are bulging. The surpluses expected for states this year exceed $26 billion, and 84 percent of states are either in balance or have a surplus for 2006—a nice increase from 2005 when only 70 percent of states reported this. Your state associations also can make a case for special statewide grants for technology in light of the loss of E2T2...

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News Briefs

Videoconferencing Program Provides Free Access to Virtual Field Trips

The Tandberg Connections Program, which provides free access to virtual field trips to schools that use Tandberg videoconferencing, has announced its virtual field trip schedule for 2006...

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Philadelphia Education Fund Receives Support from Staples Foundation for Learning

The Philadelphia Education Fund, an independent nonprofit organization working to improve the quality of public education for underserved youth in the Philadelphia region, has received a $10,000 grant from Staples Foundation for Learning...

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South Carolina Selects GeoLearning’s LMS Suite for Five-Year eLearning Contract

South Carolina has selected the GeoMaestro Learning Management Suite (LMS) from GeoLearning Inc. to deliver and manage training for 100,000 users across state agencies, the state’s education system, and private citizens...

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Hawaiian School Secures Grant for High-Tech Enrichment, Credit Recovery

Starting this school year, the Maui Waena Intermediate School in Kahului, HI, will utilize the award-winning NovaNET curriculum program to help students with low test scores and those who speak English as a second language...

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By the Numbers

Notebooks, LCD TVs Heat Up Back-to-School Spending

Back-to-school spending for consumer technology increased 6.4 percent in dollar volume from the first week of July through the end of Labor Day week over the same time period in 2005, according to leading consumer and retail information provider The NPD Group. Notebook computers had a great showing for the back-to-school season, with unit sales increasing 50 percent. Dollar volume increased about 18 percent and average prices continued to drop from about $1,081 in 2005 to $849 in 2006. Desktop computers took a backseat with revenue down almost 17 percent and unit sales off about 3.5 percent. The portable theme resonated among back-to-school purchases as well. Portable digital player accessory unit sales increased 50 percent, while dollar sales increased almost 40 percent. Portable digital player sales experienced unit sales growth of about 18 percent. One of the biggest stars this back-to-school season was LCD TVs. Sales of LCD TVs under 26 inches increased 57 percent, while the average selling price dropped from $482 dollars to $336...

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Show Me the Money

CoSN Looking to Award Technology Champions

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) annually recognizes technology leadership though a number of awards programs. The Frank Withrow Award honors an individual in a U.S. K-12 school district or consortium of school districts or education agencies who has been a true technology champion as the district’s chief technologist or equivalent. CoSN also sponsors a Team Award that is designed to show how a school district is using technology across the district to transform the entire educational enterprise. Additionally, CoSN recognizes Excellence in Public Service through an award that is presented to an elected or appointed national, state, regional, or local official for his/her achievements in promoting the use of information technologies and the Internet to improve K-12 learning. The deadline for all nominations is Dec. 1, 2006...

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Products & Services

QuizMaker Pro Receives a Major Upgrade

Class One Software has released QuizMaker Pro version 6.0, a full-featured application that generates, administers, archives, and scores multiple-choice, matching, and short-answer tests...

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Adam Equipment Announces Free Stopwatch Set With Back-to-School Orders

Adam Equipment, a manufacturer of mass measurement equipment, has announced that the company will supply a set of five stopwatches to any educational institution that orders three of its school balances this fall...

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Coming Up

THE Journal Opportunities

Share Your Best Practices

T.H.E. Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles for future issues and for our eNewsletter, T.H.E. SmartClassroom:

  • School Perspectives - discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.
  • Case Studies – have you implemented technology and learned a lot from the experience? If so, share your efforts about what worked -- and what didn't.

If you have a potential article, or questions about the above topics, please e-mail editorial@thejournal.com

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