If you’re reading this column in eSchool News, it stands to reason you have both a belief in technology’s potential to transform education and an understanding of how vital it is to find only the most appropriate, cost-effective IT solutions for your schools. It’s a delicate balancing act you have to pull off every day, one made even more clear by the story that appears on page 4 of this issue.

You’re probably no stranger, also, to the red tape, Byzantine hierarchies of decision making, and funding challenges that often stand in the way of progress in education. Thankfully, we have a few fantastic online resources that should help you address these challenges, whether you’re an educator, administrator, or IT director at the school or district level.

I like to think our K-20 Technology Solutions Center is quite unlike any other service of its kind on the web. Within this center, you’ll find all sorts of background information to help you make smart and appropriate IT purchasing decisions. Looking for a technology provider that specializes in network security? No problem. Our tech provider search allows you to find companies specializing in specific ed-tech fields and industries. You can search our tech provider listings by specialty, company, keyword, and even industry. For added benefit, we also list those companies that deal with government on the state and federal levels.

Or perhaps you need a primer on the latest ed-tech trends or products. We have that, too. At our K-20 Technology Solutions Center, you can search for product showcases and, even better, the latest industry white papers. Whether you need a base of knowledge to help you formulate your technology plan, or you already have a plan and are looking for specific solutions and/or providers, this center is for you. Check it out at this address: http://www.eschoolnews.com/tsc

Of all the information available in our K-20 Technology Solutions Center, in my estimation one of the most useful resources we offer is our “Grants and Funding ALERT” electronic newsletter. Every day, our editors pore over the myriad grant sources available to find the best and most appropriate grants for you. We cover state, federal, and local agencies, as well as corporate and community foundations. Then, twice a month, we send these grants directly to your eMail inbox. We include all of the relevant information: grant sponsor, title, application information, and deadline. Given all of the work that already goes into each successful grant application, this service can be a real time-saver, allowing you to focus your time where it should be spent–on your proposal itself. If you’re curious, please visit:

http://www.eschoolnews.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=29

While on the subject of our “Grants and Funding ALERT” newsletter, here’s an offer that’s too good to pass up: For the first time ever, we will be giving away four-month subscriptions to the service for all our Conference Correspondents at this year’s T+L2 Conference in Dallas, Texas, later this month. If you’re going to the conference, and you would like to report on the sessions you attend as a Conference Correspondent for eSchool News, please visit:

http://www.eschoolnews.com/cic/tpluslvolunteers/index.cfm

All participants who submit two or more session reviews will be entered to win either a video iPod or an AlphaSmart Neo. Participants also will also receive a free, four-month subscription to “Grants and Funding ALERT.” And if you aren’t going to be in Dallas for the conference, I recommend you check out our in-depth conference coverage online. Throughout the duration of T+L2, eSchool NewsOnline will feature unrivaled news coverage, session reports, product updates, and video coverage from eSN TV. If you can’t be there in person, our online Conference Information Center is the next-best option. To view our T+L Conference coverage, please visit:

http://www.eschoolnews.com/cic

In addition, during the past month, we’ve added the following Educators’ Resource Centers:

Suspension Alternatives that Work (Sponsored by Ripple Effects Inc.

http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/suspensionalternatives/index.cfm

Creative Video Solutions (Sponsored by New Dimension Media

http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/

Creative_video/index.cfm

Differentiated Learning (Sponsored by netTrekker) http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/Differentiated_Learning/index.cfm