• 04Feb
    Author: Katherine Pisana Categories: Education, Technology Comments: 1


    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 may be the catalyst for real growth in the educational technology community.

    Good News for Ed Tech in the Economic Stimulus Bills

    “Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT), is slated to receive $1 billion new dollars in addition to the existing $267 million in the program.”

    “Good News for Ed Tech in the Economic Stimulus Bills,” T.H.E. Journal, 2/2/2009

    Part of the allocation of these funds is meant to go toward the ‘modernization, renovation and repair’ of schools in order to ‘improve teachers’ ability to teach and students’ ability to learn’, such as installing educational technology infrastructure, the acquisition of hardware and software, etc.

    Ding! Ding! Ding! Who else is hearing bells ringing?? While reading the outline of spending, I’m picking up on the distinct assumption that teachers and students will know how to use all this new fancy shmancy kit. To be fair, “25 percent of the money a school district receives must be used for professional development.” Though I wonder, how will schools define professional development in 2009-11 when these new budgets will have to be spent?

    ~ Learning technologists of the world, this is our chance to swoop in! ~

    If we don’t, you KNOW people are going to start blaming the technology again when all this stimulus money seemingly goes to waste because of a lack of measurable improvements in the education system.

    So, that’s what the US plans to do. What about your country? What sort of stimulus packages are being considered in your part of the world?

  • 29Jan
    Author: Katherine Pisana Categories: Education, Educational Technology Comments Off on Ecomonic downturn = more jobs in educational technology

    We’re all afraid of loosing a job – whether its our own, or of that of someone close to us. Unemployment is at an all time high. So imagine my wonderment when I received a job posting (see below) this morning for a Learning Technologist position at the London School of Economics.

    LSE job posting

    Take a look at the salary. Normally these jobs go for £23,000 to £35,000 GBP, depending in what part of the UK you are. (Input on what the going rate is in other countries is welcome 🙂 ) So it looks like LSE has a bigger budget then most. Not surprising considering their ranking, but let’s set that aside for a moment and start asking ourselves what started happening to the field of educational technology once the global economic reset button was pressed.

    What sort of things do people do when they loose their jobs in the masses? Some discover new industries, new trades, new identities. Others contribute to the campaign of mass re-production (anyone remember how the Baby Boomers came about?!), and then there are those who either fall into deep depressions or succumb to the last resort of going back to live with their parent(s). How do you think the first group – those reinventing themselves – manage to develop those new skills they need to perform their new roles?

    What’s that? Did you say ‘education‘? Well that’s right! That’s the correct answer! Well done. Here’s a sticker!

    So, people with no jobs have little disposable income to invest in their futures. This brings us to the point about affordability of higher and continuing education. Do you think that this group is more likely to opt for the $30,000+ USD/yr Stanford full-time education (that requires the physical presence of the student) or the more accessible £5,000 GBP Open University degree (that can be completed at a distance and at the student’s own [affordable] pace)?

    Looks like there might be potential for a big boom in online and distance education. Is your institution ready for the new opportunities? The OU seems to be…

    Downturn not bad news for all universities

    The British Council fears the economic downturn may deter international students from coming to the UK to study, in a statement released today, but it’s not bad news for all. The Open University Business School is defying the trend through offering relevant and responsive business and management education to around 43,000 students in nearly 70 countries.

    Carmel McMahon, Associate Dean International at The Open University Business School said: “Our international reach and unique student support model ensures we can provide a high quality British education to our students in their countries, rather than requiring students to travel to the UK. The economic downturn is being experienced globally but our practice based approach to business and management education enables students to improve their career prospects without having to give up their jobs and to continue their studies if relocated.”

    The Open University Business School has seen an increase in the number of new MBA students in Continental Europe, while numbers in Russia and Romania are holding their ground. It has also very successfully just launched the BA in Business Studies programme in southern Africa.

    Richard Wheatcroft, Masters Programme Director at The Open University Business School, confirmed the upward trend saying: “In our experience people who lose their jobs often decide that it’s a good time to do an MBA while the labour market is unattractive. Studying through us allows them flexibility between study and pursuing new employment, ensuring they do not miss any opportunities. And those in employment also have an incentive to take up further studies, as they want to make themselves more valuable to their employer.”