Project RED: Revolutionizing Education Investigating How Technology Saves Money in Schools

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A new project launched at the NECC show in D.C. on July 1, 2009, Project RED will investigate how technology is revenue-positive at the state level. All U.S. technology-transformed schools will be researched this summer with a report to be released in October.

Data mapping is a significant factor in cost savings in the districts in which I consult

Today, at the National Education Computing Conference (NECC), the Project RED coalition announced the launch of their new Project RED initiative. "This project is an effort to put technology on a more stable basis within the challenging environment of education funding," said Tom Greaves, lead author of this project and CEO of The Greaves Group, an education technology consulting organization. "We all have anecdotal stories about how technology works and saves money while improving teaching and learning. But we need a full-bore national study to investigate cost-savings and revenue enhancement at the state level."

The Project Red team will research the schools in its database of approximately 3,000 K-12 technology-rich schools. The characteristics of technology use to transform learning will be analyzed to create a model for other schools. These technology-transformed schools (those with at least 95% of students using a computing device with Internet access) will also be studied to determine what cost savings schools realize when they use technology as part of their everyday teaching and learning. "States know that high-school students frequently enter college with inadequate skills and that much money is spent on remedial courses. That additional cost is one that frustrates state legislators who feel they are paying for educating the same students multiple times. One of the bright spots in technology's investment pay-off has been the ability to reduce costs while improving both learning and attendance through online credit recovery courses," said Jeanne Hayes, a co-author of the project and President of the Hayes Connection, an education market consulting organization.

"Data mapping is a significant factor in cost savings in the districts in which I consult," said Ric Peterson, CEO of Peterson Public Sector Consulting, LLC. "Because a typical district has so many disparate data files from state-required reporting to parental forms, the overlap of data collection costs both time and money. Technology is the practical way to address these issues and bring down the costs of education."

"The Project Team has the ability to make a national impact - to revolutionize the way we look at technology - not as a cost, but as a way to personalize learning and to change the way our students learn by making technology-assisted learning among recognized best practices, rather than an exception. Our basic premise is that technology holds the promise of allowing us to re-engineer our educational system. We can hold on to what is important, but the methods of achievement can be transformed through the use of technology, just as has occurred in almost every other segment of our society," says Leslie Wilson, President of One-to-One Institute, a non-profit leader in ubiquitous education technology.

Project RED's importance has been recognized by a number of national education associations, including National School Boards Association (NSBA), American Association of School Administrators (AASA),
Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and Software Information Industries Association (SIIA).

Ensuring Complete Coverage of Technology-Rich Schools
The Project RED team wants to ensure that every technology-rich school is included in this study. These technology-transformed schools are defined as any elementary and secondary school where students have consistent daily access to the Internet. The team asks educators to go to ProjectRED.org to find out if their schools are already included or to request that a school be added.

About the Creators of Project Red
Leslie Wilson, President, One-to-One Institute
Leslie is a founding member of the One-to-One Institute and served public education as teacher, administrator and state-wide director for 31 years. She created and implemented the Institute programs and services model based on Michigan's Freedom to Learn Program. Leslie directs and manages the Institute's programs and operations while working with a collaborative cadre of state and national service providers. Leslie ensures hands on, shoulder to shoulder collaboration with each client wherever they are on the continuum of development or implementation. This includes help with planning, design and launch, curriculum and content integration, on-line assessment, leadership, and sustainability. Leslie and the team offer comprehensive professional development and/or program templates for teachers, administrators and technology personnel to ensure success around the organizations' project goals.

Michael Gielniak, Ph.D., Projects and Development Manager, One-to-One Institute
Mike is Projects and Development Manager for One-to-One Institute and is currently working with staff to develop internal procedures, development and marketing strategies, as well as key programs and services. Both a Fulbright Scholarship and an Emmy Award winner, Mike has been working with innovative educational environments around the globe for 25 years. Within the one-to-one educational environment, he developed and implemented the Freedom to Learn (FTL) Site Advisors program, an assessment protocol that was used with thousands of students and teachers in nearly 200 one-to-one schools.

Thomas W. Greaves, CEO and Founder, The Greaves Group, LLC
Mr. Greaves is recognized as a visionary in the conceptualization, design, engineering and marketing of technologies for schools. He holds multiple patents and patent disclosures for student computing technologies and has been involved in hundreds of 1:1 computing projects at the district, state and federal level. He has published widely and is currently the Software Information Industry Association (SIIA) Mobile Computing Trends Watch Report Editor. Mr. Greaves' recent work is highlighted by the 2006 and 2008 America's Digital Schools surveys which have extensive coverage of 1:1 computing devices and implementations.

Jeanne Hayes, President, The Hayes Connection, Inc.
Jeanne Hayes has 30 years of experience in tracking the K-12 school market, first in her role as founder and CEO of Quality Education Data, now a Scholastic Company, and second in her current role as a consultant to publishers and producers of K-12 products and services. A nationally recognized keynote speaker and panelist covering a wide range of education topics, Hayes is most proud of identifying the disparity in technology access between poor and affluent schools in the early 90s. As co-author of America's Digital Schools 2006 and 2008, she continued the research she had pioneered at Quality Education Data.

Eric Peterson, President and CEO of Peterson Public Sector Consulting, LLC
Eric Peterson, as President and CEO of PPSC, and through his prior affiliation with Michigan School Business Officials (MSBO), is known by educators, State of Michigan executives and legislators throughout the state. Mr. Peterson has worked with the Michigan Departments of Education, Treasury, and Management and Budget, Michigan Legislators, and both the House and Senate Fiscal Agencies over the last nineteen years. He has collaborated with departments and the legislature in the state of Michigan to solve challenging public policy issues, served as legislative resource, developed organizational development, process compression, and informational seminars encompassing all areas of public school administration. Mr. Peterson has consulted with over 500 school districts.

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