This morning, I read Fed cutbacks strips schools of tech funding and a shudder went through me. Recently, I've been speaking at length of the importance of enabling our educators to better leverage IT in their classrooms. Not by going out and buying the cheapest solution available (as so many of our readers seem to be recommending) or by looking at total cost of ownership (inherently different than 'the cheapest solution') as the only measure that matters. Biases toward single-platform solutions are no better. (See Can Intel-based Macs really save your university money?)
Educating our children is what matters and educators need the resources to engage our children. Were our educators properly trained in Instructional Systems Technology when they were getting their college degrees? Probably not. Unfortunately many of our colleges and universities ignore this field of study -- especially for their undergraduate students, the bulk of whom go into primary and secondary education.
Does this mean that Education IT should be ignored? Or that we as Education IT specialists should ignore the potential of IT as an instructional tool? Absolutely not! Sadly, like most of our tech savvy kids, our tech savvy educators are largely self-taught. The waste of potential for Education IT is just unfathomable.
Far too many of us look at education as a 'necessary evil' and we impose that same impression on our children -- as if they are not supposed to enjoy learning. The minute they walk into the school, a long list if restrictions are placed upon them -- instead piquing their interest, we are telling them to leave their technology at home -- even if it could be useful to them in school.
It is time to e-mail your congressmen (and don't forget your state legislators) and tell them that they are dead wrong if they think we are going to put up with unfunded-mandates, underpaid educators, and non-existent IT budgets for our schools any longer.