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19 Schools in Kentucky Come Together to Strike Deals on EdTech

19 school districts in Kentucky might have found the formula to more affordable education technology. The Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative’s (KVEC) early efforts in seeking better economic gains in their education system may have paid off in the long run some 40 years later.

“Over the last five years, our state has done a very good job of leading the rest of the country in its approach to K-12 education and the use of technology,” points out Jeff Hawkins, KVEC’s executive director, according to an eSchool News article.

“Collectively, our use of technology has really blossomed, because we realize that that is the way to increase curricular and learning opportunities for students.”

The KVEC received a $30 million four-year “Race to the Top grant” according to eSchool News, and they’ve put the money to use by supporting blended learning opportunities.

“All of our districts have been moving toward using technology more effectively, and especially in using technology in a personalized and concentrated manner,” says Hawkins according to the article.

The KVEC started 40 years ago with 10 districts and expanded to a total of 19 public schools that are now reaping the benefits of what could be considered a foundation that was created years ahead of it’s time. The ability to provide their students with the proper technological tools in the classroom is made easier after the efforts of the KVEC.

The grant is mostly being used interactive Mondopads, rollout software and the support of one-to-one initiatives according to the article. One of the struggles that the KVEC faces is the decision to choose either Apple or Windows products to incorporate into their classrooms.

“Some districts really believe strongly in using a Windows-based application and some districts may believe strongly in using an Apple-based application,” Hawkins explains in the article. “We try to make sure that our purchasing selections focus on all solutions—as much as possible—while also offering multiple solutions and opportunities.”

Many organizations might be able to learn from the KVEC in terms of their ability to successfully fund their students blended learning needs. Instead of thinking about how they might be able to fund it, other districts Nationwide could move on to having the problem of deciding what kind of technology they want to integrate.

For more on the KVEC’s success, read the full story and comment below.

Article By Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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