Budget woes- what will happen to educational technology?

In my home state of Florida, we are under a budget crunch such as I have not seen in my 20 years of teaching. Cuts are everywhere, but most notably in the technology area. Our school district recently spent huge amounts of money retrofitting every classroom in the district with interactive whiteboards, new computers and peripherals, and software to run them. One of the first things that were cut was the technology staff charged with keeping them up and running!

We in Education are used to dealing with things like this, but in an era where we are increasingly dependent on technology, cuts like this really hurt. For those of us who are on the “bleeding edge” when it comes to implementing technology in our classrooms, I have a few thoughts on how to mitigate the coming crisis in tech support:

1. Really dig into the “nuts and bolts” of the technology you use. Study up on how to manipulate all of the preferences, drivers, settings, etc. so that you can troubleshoot common problems yourself.

2. Establish a rapport with the technology staff at your school (if you still have one) such that you can be trusted with enhanced permissions on your computer. Many of the common problems that arise can be easily corrected, however most of our technology is so locked down that we cannot access the settings we need to fix it!

3. The internet is your friend! We will all have to support each other by sharing our expertise in various areas so that we can find the answers we need. Visit forums and blogs and don’t be afraid to ask for help- you will find that the blogosphere (especially in our area) is very willing to help.

4. Consider being your own tech support- technology that we personally own is the best way that I can think of to make certain that we have control over our own “technological destiny”. It is expensive to be sure…but the cost could be somewhat offset by a healthy tax deduction (check with your tax advisor on this)

The bottom line is that we all need to help each other in this time of need. The good news is that it is easier than ever to connect and collaborate thanks to Web 2.0 (or 3.0 as some would argue…) blogs, forums, podcasts, wikis, interactive chat, and Skype (to name just a few) will become our first line of defense as our tech support staff continues to dwindle.

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7 Responses to Budget woes- what will happen to educational technology?

  1. J. Pisano says:

    Owen!

    Glad to see you posting again… Sorry for the content of your post! I hear you… I think you’ve hit on a number of good ideas for sharing information with regard to keeping technology up and running! I’ve preached for years to my students about the importance of not only understanding how to be an “end user” of an application but about understanding some of the concepts that are underneat the “hood” as it were…

    Thankfully…with the advent of the Internet and the proliferation of Web 2.0 sites (and now all the ME Bloggers out there!) we have a ready source of help with regard to our music classroom needs.

    On a related note….You should consider submitting an article for next Music Carnival… while your “back” and running! 🙂

    J. Pisano -MusTech.Net

  2. This turbulence in our economy really affects, not only our music teaching profession, but as well as any other career. Yet, like what you said, we may still utilize all the available music teachers resources and software to help us in our classroom necessities.

  3. RaiulBaztepo says:

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  4. Aranes says:

    http://aranes.wordpress.com/

    Once again, very interesting post. Thanks for putting it up.

  5. PiterKokoniz says:

    Hi !!!! ^_^
    My name is Piter Kokoniz. oOnly want to tell, that your posts are really interesting
    And want to ask you: what was the reasson for you to start this blog?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Tnx!
    Your Piter

  6. […] a the teacher to effectuate it meaningfully. Healy’s concerns about cost-effectiveness and the validity of education’s outlay for technology are absolutely valid when seen in the light of class size, crumbling facilities, and suffering test […]

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