Welcome to a short midweek post dedicated to important and timely political action in education. I firmly believe that educators must proactively support technology in education. It is my hope that when students enter a school they walk into an environment that is engaging and promotes 21st Century standards along with the important core curriculum. Please read on and I invite you to help the people at ISTE as they support technology in the classroom. Please take the time to retweet this article and then take some action. Also, take a moment to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email. As always you can follow me on Twitter at (@mjgormans) and also read about free resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Please read this important message and consider… Thanks so much – Mike
I have been a long time advocate for students and the educational needs of the classroom. At the same time I understand that budgets are limited, in fact, that is the reason for both my Blog and Wiki! Both of these publications are my attempt at making teachers aware of free and inexpensive resources. While these are important, it is a reality that hardware, infrastructure, professional development, internet access, and their maintenance to support student learning is not free. For this reason I have a history of meeting with legislators in my state capitol in Indiana, writing to national leaders, and I also had the opportunity to lead a state delegation to Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill at NECC09. (See picture above.)
Being a member of the ISTE ESEA Reauthorization Advisory Group, I recently recieved an email from Hilary Goldmann, who is the hard working Director of Government Affairs for ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). She reports that ISTE is asking educators to contemplate taking some necessary action in order for all schools to at least maintain the current technology programs they have in place. Recently, leadership in the House of Representatives introduced legislation that would eliminate funding for the EETT program, Enhancing Education Through Technology, in the 2011 budget. Starting next school year, this cut will eliminate all federal funding for educational technology. Additionally, the President’s proposed budget will also eliminate the EETT program in FY12.
Don Knezek, president of ISTE in response stated, “If we are serious about providing a competitive education for all students, Enhancing Education Through Technology is an essential component. As we continue to ask our teachers to do more with less, EETT offers the promise of better preparing our teachers and classrooms for the rigors of a digital age education. Instead of trimming $100 million needed to help our teachers improve classroom instruction, we should be asking what more we have to do to better integrate education technology in our schools and what additional investment is required.”
ETAN is suggesting those who see a need to address this issue take the following one or two steps in order to let Congress know the value of EETT funds in preparing our students for the future.
2. Second, visit your House and Senate members this week, February 21-25, during the Congressional Work Week when they are in their home districts. This is the perfect opportunity to let your members know in person how important EETT funding is for your students. Information on how to schedule and conduct a meeting with your representatives can be found here. Some ideas to share could include:
- How has ed tech improved the way you teach?
- How has ed tech improved the way students learn?
- What would you do with additional ed tech funding?
- What will your students lose if EETT funding goes away?
- Why is it important to have up-to-date technology in classrooms?
Now is the time to join fellow educational technology advocates in supporting the Enhancing Education Through Technology Program for students! Your voice is both needed and appreciated.
Please take a moment to reflect and consider any action. Not all of ed tech resources are free and inexpensive, but as I find them I will be sure to let you know. In fact, I have some great resources coming your way in future posts. Thanks for your time and please consider subscribing by RSS or email! Again, please give this article a retweet so we can spread the word. Have a wonderful week and continue that journey toward 21st century education. – Mike