CyberTimes, January 16, 1999

Despite the political fights and controversy surrounding the first year of the eRate, the federal subsidy program that funds connections to the Internet for schools and libraries has survived, albeit reduced in size and scope.

But look for the problems that surrounded the eRate last year to continue this year as the program begins another funding cycle and more questions about filtering inappropriate content from students arise.

The year 1998 was also marked by debates over the wisdom of bringing technology into the classroom as a substitute for traditional teacher-based, pencil-and-paper instruction. Results were mixed in a study of computers used in math classes, and many educators are balking at the use of products that bring advertising into the classroom.

Look for 1999 to be the year when stakeholders and administrators increasingly search for proof that technology is working in the classrooms.

Another hot topic in 1998 was the lack of training for students on how to use the Internet responsibly and evaluate online resources critically.