The stimulus bill, putting school districts in an unusual predicament: how to spend a surplus of ed tech money? In 2009 President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA); the bill dedicates more than $90 billion to education, with $650 million allocated specifically for technology. The ARRA funds represent the largest K-12 ed tech budget bump in US history. So why the big push? This stimulus is a means a pushing for America’s students to be taught in technologically rich 21st century classrooms. Yet, it is not an easy task to spend $650 million, and educators are a bit cautious as to where the money should go.
A recent article published in the February 2010 issue of The Journal seeks answers on where educators believe the big surge of technology fund would do the most good. Several K-12 IT leaders expressed their interest in new hardware, specifically getting laptops in the hands of every teacher and student. The reason for this, teachers do not want to create a lesson based around software and web resources when their students can only get into the computer lab every couple days. Therefore, with netbook prices falling it is very plausible and likely that we will start seeing more netbooks in the hands of all K-12 students.
In fact, Shawn Nutting, director of technology for Trussville City Schools in Jefferson County, AL said, “Until every kid has a computer in front of him or her every day, the 21st century paradigm dosen’t work.”
While mini-laptop technology creates new opportunities in educational environments for the 21st century, it also creates new challenges; storage, re-charging, safety, security and mobility. Spectrum Industries has a solution that will overcome all these challenges, the laptop cart. Spectrum offers a variety of laptop carts in all shapes and sizes. From the mLT30 laptop cart designed to accommodate 30 mini-laptops to the LT30 laptop cart designed to store 30 regular laptops.
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Additionally, in a survey published by Speak Up 2009, 36% of parents said that they see mobile computers for every student as a good investment to enhance student achievement.
As a parent or educator, if you has a one-shot chance to spend a big sum of technology money, what would be on your shopping list?