Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Why We're Better off without EETT

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Why We're Better off without EETT

Article excerpt

The proposed 2006 federal budget has been criticized by many in the education and technology communities for zeroing out the primary federal funding source for education technology: the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) state block-grant program. I say we are better off without it. Here is why.

For many years, those of us who work in the education technology field have been aware that much of the money from EETT and state programs is misspent. The largest problem has been the overemphasis on hardware. In industry, the rule of thumb for technology investments is a third for hardware, a third for software, and a third for training and support. A good 80-85% of education technology funding has been spent on hardware and wiring over the years, leaving only 15-20% for software, training, and the vital support of hardware and applications. The result has been school labs full of machines that cannot run software on their networks, and children learning Microsoft Paint as an educational activity.

Block grants also distort the buying process because schools have to spend the money they receive during the same year they are given the funding. Therefore, schools look for systems within their means rather than looking for systems that address specific educational needs or that enhance instructional activities at the lowest cost. Over the years, I have seen dozens of bids won by the more expensive system simply because it used up all of the money that had to be spent by a school.

The other problem is much more subtle. Technology is supposed to enhance the educational process. Proponents claim that assessment software enhances instruction by providing better data to teachers so they can fine-tune their lesson plans. Some argue that skill-development software allows students to acquire crucial reading and math skills fester than they would if they only participated in traditional classroom activities and used workbooks. Advocates say multimedia curricula do a better job of engaging students and motivating them to think more deeply about the content. Many believe that administrative software saves money by streamlining administrative tasks. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.