The financial models and best practices derived from the project will be disseminated to
school boards, superintendents, state governors, and legislators, and they will help states determine approximate cost benefits for certain implementations of educational technology and set guidelines for proper ed-tech programs.
“Getting more kids educated saves money, and technology is a key,” Hayes said.
“We’re hoping to have lots of people get involved and turn it into a movement–all we can do is get it started,” said Tom Greaves, chairman of the Greaves Group.
The project will focus on technology, but it also will acknowledge that other factors need to be in place for technology to be effective.
“We’re not overlooking that school leadership, curriculum, and standards need to be in place for a school to be successful,” Greaves said. Just because the project focuses on technology “doesn’t mean [those other aspects] aren’t important.”
If education derives the operational benefits that typically have been realized in other industries as they have adopted technology, then schools and states can expect significant gains in students’ academic performance as well as cost savings resulting from technology-based re-engineering, the researchers said.
The project is launching at the 2009 National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in Washington, D.C., this week and is expected to take about a year. Major sponsors include Apple and Intel.
Educators who currently are involved in ubiquitous technology initiatives are encouraged to share their experiences with Project RED members at NECC.