Involving the community, identifying backup revenue sources, and dedicating time and resources for professional development are the keys to sustaining technology funding and ed-tech initiatives, according to a survey conducted by the nonprofit Digital Wish.
The Digital Wish Study on Sustainability, co-authored by Digital Wish Executive Director Heather Chirtea and School Modernization Initiative (SMI) Program Manager Eric Bird, examines how schools approach the often complicated matter of technology funding.
Digital Wish launched SMI, a one-to-one computing program, in 2009. The initiative involved 28 schools and 1,294 students in grades 4-6, and it gave curriculum and training to 79 teachers. At the end of the program’s first year, school leaders turned to the challenge of sustaining this initiative, and the A.D. Henderson Foundation commissioned Digital Wish to examine how schools could do this successfully.
The foundation also tasked Digital Wish with developing free resources to spread best practices in sustaining ed-tech programs. The study included responses from administrators, IT specialists, media and curriculum coordinators, librarians, and teachers.
The survey results revealed that, when it comes to technology funding, the “most successful schools develop multiple sources of revenue, they trigger strong community engagement, and they prioritize daily support and training for teachers.”
(Next page: A breakdown of how successful ed-tech programs are funded)