As President-elect Obama and the new Congress develop a recovery package, they should leverage the pervasive power of technology and invest in education–specifically educational technology–as a proven way to generate significant, widespread economic benefits by preparing the workforce for tomorrow’s challenges, write Jim Goodnight and Keith Krueger in a BusinessWeek opinion piece. "While the primary purpose of the economic recovery package will be to motivate job creation and the economy in a one-to-two-year period, it is equally as important to include measures that generate growth and prosperity for many years to come," the two men write. "A carefully constructed federal investment of $20 billion to $36 billion in education technology … can meet the short-term stimulus requirements and strengthen our economy for the long term." They continue: "Business and education leaders need to convince policy makers that this investment in education technology for schools and home connections is a no-brainer–a cost-effective and strategic investment in our future. Based on economic models from the Commerce Dept., we believe this spending would create 401,700 to 694,200 jobs in the U.S. and represents only 2.4 percent to 4.2 percent of the cost of the total recovery package. Britain is already benefiting from investing in school technology and home-to-school technology and internet connections. The British government put technology into the homes of pupils in the most deprived areas of England starting in 2005 and expanded funding for home internet connectivity in 2006. PricewaterhouseCoopers found that the British economy enjoys benefits of £2.05 ($3.05) for every £1 per pupil invested in technology for a three-year rate of return–including more employable graduates." Jim Goodnight is founder and CEO of SAS Institute, and Keith Krueger is CEO of the Consortium for School Networking…

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