The 21st Century Teachers Network, which provided resources and mentoring to help more than 18,000 teachers use technology effectively in their classrooms, is shutting down because of a lack of funds.
“We were funded through a grant from the University of Phoenix for three years, and that grant expired,” said Wade Sayer, director of the organization.
The network raised another $60,000 from the corporate community after the grant ended, but it was not enough to keep the network running, Sayer said, especially because it was competing with so many large corporate sites.
“Last year was just not a good year for technology financially, so we had a hard time trying to raise money,” Sayer said.
The network, established in 1997, offered its members teacher-to-teacher online assistance and mentoring, professional development activities, and a large database of resources accessible by subject and content, geographic location, or grade level.
The network had agreements with more than 100 content partners to provide information. “When we started out four years ago, we intended to provide a place for teachers to find out about technology,” Sayer said. “We essentially won what we started out to do.”
The network will give its membership lists and content resources to the National Education Association (NEA), to augment the educational resource web portal NEA is launching this September.
NEA was one of the network’s founding supporters. “They were part of the initial group that got the 21st Century Teachers Network started,” Sayer said. “They’ve been on our steering committee since the very beginning.”