Ed-tech stakeholders protest budget cuts

Dominic Giegerich, principal of CAM High School in Anita, Iowa, is hoping that the repository will make more digital resources available to his school’s 135 students, all of whom have laptops.

Giegerich is a board member of the statewide district consortium that received $2.75 million of the EETT stimulus funds to create the repository, while a consortium from Des Moines received the remaining funds and is working on a parallel project.

The repository used EETT funds to purchase digital materials initially in core curricular areas such as algebra, physical science, and English. In the NCTET profile, Giegerich noted that many of his teachers might use the digital resources in their blended virtual and classroom instruction, with the hope that students might be able to access those same resources on their laptops.

But with EETT funds eliminated for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, it’s uncertain if the statewide repository will continue to expand.

The Iowa State Board of Education is making online learning a priority, and the Iowa legislature passed legislation permitting districts to use textbook funds to buy digital content and computing devices to deliver that content, but steady federal funding is needed to support the statewide repository, its organizers say.

Rural educators in Nevada are more effectively integrating technology into their instruction with a $4 million EETT grant.

The funds helped the Pathway to Nevada’s Future project, called the Pathway project, equip Nevada classrooms with laptops and mobile handheld devices. It also designed and launched a two-year online professional development course for state teachers and administrators.

Thirty percent of Nevada’s students live in rural or remote areas, and the Pathway project’s online professional development program has helped rural educators avoid traveling long distances to attend in-person professional development workshops.

During the program’s first year, participating educators learn about resources and technologies that are appropriate for different classroom settings, along with learning different ways to use those tools.

Laura Ascione

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