I’ve seen numbers bandied around like $1,000,000,000 (that’s a billion dollars) for edtech in an Obama administration. Tom Hoffman dives in here. Wow, that should do it. We’ll all be swimming in tech!
WHAT? No, we won’t!?
No, that funding sounds adequate, but some have crunched the numbers and that funding level would not be adequate.
And that’s the point. We could get set-up here for another major fall. The problem as I see it is that a billion isn’t nearly enough, especially if it is spread around in some kind of â€œfairâ€ manner so that every district and school gets its fair share. I know that seems like the right thing to do, but I’m not so sure.
See a billion is a lot of money AND it SOUNDS like a lot of money so in the publics’ mind edtech got all they money they could possibly need, so now we’ll really see if technology can and will make a difference in education. If they can’t get this to work with a billion then it just shows that technology integration and project-based, problem-based learning doesn’t work and teachers and school administrators are idiots and waste money … where’s the voucher and testing system? We need some accountability!!!!
One way it could help is if some model schools and districts were funded in an adequate manner by that money, bundled with vision and real leadership, and permission to REALLY try and do things differently. Not just tech integration and project-based activities, but also how assessment is done, what the day looks like, number of school days, field trip funding, cutting requirements to buy textbook programs, paying teachers to plan as part of their contract (ie â€“ non-student days before, during and after the school year), … I could go on. But then if these models are given the time to work and show that they work, funding will come for everyone else … well at least to some level. I think it is true that if the system works, the money will at least mostly follow.
If we just throw tech into basically the same system we have now? Well that’s what has been tried over and over … and failed miserably. And note that I haven’t even mentioned, well until now, the professional development that MUST happen before much of the tech shows up (and is that part of the billion? If so we need even more). This has to be thought through at every level or why bother?
I’d love to hear what others have to think about this. Am I way off here?
Learning is messy!