Is Baltimore County’s Possible Investment in Educational Technology Really a Good Investment?

While perusing the Baltimore Sun, the newspaper of the city where I was born and raised, I came across a blog entry describing the attempts of the school system of my junior and senior high schools to launch a laptop program. 

The reporter cites a number of other laptop and tablet programs, some of which succeeded, others of which failed.

The reporter suggests some problems used to finance the venture: a “rob Peter to pay Paul” approach to budgeting.  Other school systems, like Los Angeles, are paying for their programs through bond referenda.  Years ago, I read a piece in USA Today questioning the wisdom of bond-based financing as the technology will have long been retired from use before the bonds are paid off, and new bonds will be needed to fund future generations of technology.

I was surprised that the reporter cites a general, anti-technology book by an English professor from Emory University in Atlanta, rather interview than one of the educational technology professors at local universities in the Baltimore area, for expertise.  The University of Maryland at Baltimore County and Towson State University both have good programs and internationally recognized experts in the field.  They have more specific expertise related to this initiative.

Check out the article at http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/blog/bs-md-co-technology-initiative-20140208,0,1034541,full.story

 

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