For Release: April 22, 2005
Students from 14 Schools Participate in First-Ever Kid Tech Day
The New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) today hosted 14 school districts from across the state to showcase their outstanding educational technology programs as part of the first-ever Kid Tech Day.
More than 100 students and teachers joined top DOE officials at the department to demonstrate and discuss their technology programs and explain how they have helped increase school performance.
Projects ranged from students using an online discussion forum at Brookside Place School in Cranford to facilitate social studies' discussions, to first-graders in Jersey City who use computers to write, illustrate and publish their stories.
"Each of these projects is unique in its own right," said Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey. "We continue to support them because we understand just how much the students learn by using them."
The showcase provided legislators, educators, business representatives and other guests a firsthand look at the creative programs New Jersey students are using, as well as to respond to federal cuts to the proposed 2006 budget. New Jersey stands to lose $9.8 million in educational technology funding this year if the budget is not amended.
"We continue to ask the federal government for more funding support, be it for school security or, in this case, educational technology," Acting Gov. Codey said. "Our children deserve the kinds of technology programs and initiatives that best prepare them to work in tomorrow's global economy."
New Jersey received $13.5 million in federal educational technology funding two years ago, and $9.8 million last this past year. The entire educational technology budget has been cut in the proposed FY2006 federal budget.
"We need federal support alongside our own efforts," Commissioner of Education William L. Librera said. "We often talk about diverse and multiple paths to success, and not just because it is part of our mission statement. This day is about that and so much more. We have children who understand the importance of educational technology and their performance is buoyed by the programs they use."
"Educational technology will grow more and more important each day not just in schools in New Jersey, but globally," said Deputy Commissioner Dwight Pfennig, who oversees the DOE educational technology office. "Educational technology is more than computers in a classroom. It's about infusing technology into the classroom so that students have the best opportunities to succeed."
A complete list of schools participating in today's event is attached. Reporters who were unable to attend today's event are encouraged to visit and cover the local school programs featured at Kid Tech Day.
For more information, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.