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Monday, March 08, 2010

Tech Plan, Schmech Plan

I've said before that the E-Rate program should not require a tech plan in order to get funding. Inconsistent tech plan rules cause unnecessary denials. The tech plan requirement discourages library and private school participation in the program. For most applicants, the only time they look at the plan is every 3 years, when the rules say they have to refresh the plan.

So why did I spend time even scanning the draft of the National Educational Technology Plan? I guess I always hope that something significant will be in there.

Of course I read it like the dog in the old Far Side comic about what dogs hear when we talk to them. To me, it's just "Blah blah blah E-Rate blah blah blah."

So what jumped out of the blah-blah-blah?

First of all, the USDOE consistently using the spelling "E-Rate." Huzzah! Another one on my side of the great E-Rate/E-rate debate.

On page 54, the USDOE goes off on a little anti-CIPA rant: "this requirement creates barriers learning experiences." The rant is expanded on in the sidebar on page 55. I couldn't agree more, but I'm surprised to hear the USDOE say it.

Otherwise, the E-Rate (with a capital "R") gets a couple of nice mentions (pages 60 and 62), but isn't much discussed.

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