When Tech Companies Enlist Teachers

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For all the money being spent by school districts on technology for students, there is a shocking lack of data to prove that this spending is yielding any benefit over traditional methods, as your article points out. In spite of this lack of data, technology spending by school districts seems to grow every year. And teachers like Ms. Delzer are celebrated not just for the particular product they are using, and endorse, but just for using technology in general.

President Eisenhower warned us of the emergence of the military-industrial complex. I fear that the information-technology-industrial complex has taken hold in public education.

NOEL CHANG, HOUSTON

The writer is a high school teacher.

To the Editor:

Companies give freebies to teacher influencers with the expectation that their school districts will buy something. What happens, though, when other teachers want freebies or when schools need to upgrade these freebie technologies, and money is not available? Funding teaching materials in such a haphazard manner is not efficient, nor can it be easily replicated in other contexts.

There’s a better way. Classroom grant programs from foundations, public entities and even some corporations can provide teachers funding that is free of the kind of influence peddling described in the article. Teachers who write successful grants through such programs have the power to spend the money on items and activities they want, not what corporate sponsors would like them to buy. In addition, a key part of most grant applications is the plan for sustainability and replicability. That’s missing in the corporate sponsorships described in the article.

BARBARA GOTTSCHALK
TROY, MICH.

The writer is a teacher and the author of “Get Money for Your Classroom: Easy Grant Writing Ideas That Work.”

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