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

Why Aren't Dollars Following Need? the Need for Professional Development Is Enormous and Expressed; the Question Is, Where's the Money?

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

Why Aren't Dollars Following Need? the Need for Professional Development Is Enormous and Expressed; the Question Is, Where's the Money?

Article excerpt

The National Education Technology Plan (NETP), required by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB),concludes with seven major action steps and recommendations. Step three is: "Teachers have more resources available through technology than ever before, but some have not received sufficient training in the effective use of technology to enhance learning. Teachers need access to research, examples, and innovations, as well as staff development to learn best practices.... Recommendations for states, districts, and individual schools include:

* Improve the preparation of new teachers in the use of technology.

* Ensure that every teacher has the opportunity to take online learning courses.

* Improve the quality and consistency of teacher education through measurement, accountability, and increased technology resources.

* Ensure that every teacher knows how to use data to personalize instruction...."

While I have lamented the lack of any mention of money for the NETP--and complained bitterly about the Bush administration's complete cut of educational technology funding from the proposed budget--I have praised both the inclusionary process and the forward-looking attitude of the NETP. Step three, above, is just common sense that has been with us for more than a quarter of a century.

Yet, budgets do not reflect what experts say is a good guideline: 25 to 30 percent of technology dollars should be spent on professional development. In the 1995-96 school year, QED (www.qeddata.com) forecast that 62 percent of tech dollars would be spent on hardware, 12 percent on software, and 4.9 percent on training. In the 21st century, spending on professional development has grown to 6 percent of the technology dollar (Technology in Education 2004, MDR, www.schooldata.com).

The demand for professional development for integrating technology is growing. …

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