eChalk Joins Major Tech Providers on National Ed Tech Research Project

With a vested interest in America learning all it can about the impacts of technology on education, instructional technology and communications company eChalk has signed on to Project RED, a nationwide research and advocacy effort aimed at measuring the effects of education technology on both student achievement and the cost to governments.

Joining such companies as Apple, Intel, Pearson, and Qwest, eChalk hopes its participation in Project RED helps the organization demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of managing school communication and administration online and integrating all school management functions into a single platform. These measures, explained an eChalk spokesperson, save a great deal of time and its associated costs and conserve the natural resources necessary to produce paper and printer ink.

A cornerstone of the research is a survey the organization is currently conducting on what is and is not working in technology-intensive districts throughout the United States. Project RED is asking school principals and district administrators, including roughly 4,500 superintendents, detailed questions about their in-school technology programs, specifically probing efforts the districts have undertaken, how well each has worked from several standpoints, and how they were funded. In addition, the survey asks questions about the origins of each district's education technology program, teacher and student proficiency in classroom technology, and general use in all grades, for all major subject areas, and for all popular applications (collaboration, communication, social networking, assessment, games, etc.). Project RED is welcoming all educators interested in participating to take the survey here.

Additionally, the research project involves extensive one-on-one interviews with principals and administrators to discover and disseminate information about successful initiatives. The organization is looking at schools with, among other things, 1:1 computer initiatives and full-coverage Internet access in order to aggregate best practices among technology-intensive districts.

"We believe that properly implemented ubiquitous technology schools can produce dramatic improvements in achievement, be revenue positive at the state and federal level and contribute positively to issues of STEM, 21st Century skills and lifelong learning," said Tom Greaves, Project RED management team member and CEO and founder of education consulting firm The Greaves Group.

Also lending support to Project RED are a number of U.S. educational leadership organizations, including the the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO), and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).

Explained Leslie Wilson, Project RED management team member and president of the One-to-One Institute, "Success depends on new legislation, new state education policies, implementation of identified success factors, strong leadership from classroom to governor, teachers transforming their classrooms and access to appropriate technology."

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.

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