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E-Rate Compliance Firm Releases App

So remember last year (also known as less than two weeks ago) when I joked that 2011 could bring a smartphone app that delivers Karen Cator's rallying cry to transform education with technology on demand? Maybe someone was listening.

Funds for Learning may not be bringing the federal ed-tech chief directly into the palm of your hand. But its free E-rate Manager for iPhone and iPod touch apps, unveiled today, will provide those who download it information about funding requests, commitment amounts, eligible service providers, and remaining funding balances for the federal program that offers subsidies to help schools and libraries get discounts on connectivity-related technology purchases.

Tomorrow marks the opening of the 2011 window for applying funding from the E-rate program, which actually falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission, and not the U.S. Department of Education. But the FCC and ED have collaborated to call for the restructuring of technology to transform education and other local services.

Edmond, Okla.-based Funds for Learning has assisted districts in utilizing E-rate funding since 1997, the year the program came into being. Its E-rate Manager software program is available to districts on a paid subscription basis, based on the size of the subscribing district.

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