Like many, I was pretty excited about his story from the Toronto Star. “Coding gets boost in Ontario schools”
In fact, I made reference to it Saturday in my post “What next?” The timing seemed to be correct as the Hour of Code events happened in December and fit nicely into the flow of my post.
But then, I got this message from Grant Hutchison.
@dougpete great post. Unfortunately after I read the announcement again the $150mm is for an existing tech fund from 2 years ago
— grant_hutchison (@grant_hutchison) December 10, 2016
My memory shot back to advice that I received from a former superintendent about it being crucial to ask “is this new money” at times like this. I thought that I had done my due diligence with quoting the story from the Toronto Star. It really was timely and seemingly relevant. I had no reason to question it.
Like Grant, I dug back to the original source of the story on Ontario’s Newsroom. “Ontario Helping Students Learn to Code“. The announcement is still good stuff. The details lie in the “Quick Facts”. It’s there that we get the real details.
Ontario has committed to investing $150 million over three years, beginning in 2014-15, through the Technology and Learning Fund to promote teaching and learning for deeper learning and global competencies.
Yep, Grant was correct. The announcement built on a previous one.
So, I did some digging to see if I could find the original announcement. A report from the CBC claims “Ontario announces $150 million investment for iPads in the classroom“. That didn’t sound quite right – naming a product explicitly – so I went back to the Newsroom again to get the entire story. “Technology in Classrooms Helping Students Succeed“. Given the timing and the date, I’m guessing this is what the original funding announcement was.
Undoubtedly, the iPad was a Hamilton thing.
The bottom line throughout all this is that it’s great news for Ontario students. Of that, there is no doubt.
I would just have hoped that education reporters had done a little more research. The question “We are now in the third year of this initiative; what successes have you seen?” would really have added to the story and would have made us realize that it really was an ongoing initiative.