Impact of Now-Defunct U.S. Ed-Tech Program Noted
In an effort to draw attention to the initiatives funded by the now-defunct federal grant program, Enhancing Education Through Technology—or EETT—the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) has published 28 case studies from different states detailing examples of innovative education initiatives that the program helped create. The programs in the case studies were funded through EETT in 2009, when $650 million in federal stimulus funding was available to states for ed-tech projects through the program. That funding was reduced to $100 million the following fiscal year and was zeroed out in the 2011 federal budget.
The 28 case studies fall into five categories: project-based learning; open or digital content; technology coaches and mentors; scaling up; and high access, technology-rich environments. Each case study includes a description of the state or district's demographics, the project itself, its implementation, classroom examples, data on its effectiveness, a look toward its future, and links to resources for more information.
Each case study also lists the number of administrators, teachers, and students affected by each grant, as well as the amount of the grant and any supplemental local funds. You can read them individually, or collectively as one document.
It appears many of the outlined initiatives have continued—either by finding another source of funding or through the teachers and students passing down their experiences to others. For example, as part of the iLearn project in Pulaski County Schools in Virginia, teachers received professional development throughout the school year on how to integrate iPod touches and laptops into curricula. A social-networking website provided a forum for those teachers to share their experiences with other teachers and receive feedback on their progress. Although the grant is now over, the teachers who went through this program have taken on leadership roles in their respective schools and hold informal peer-to-peer meetings to share their knowledge.