Our annual crop of the top 100 education products that have made a difference to school districts is in this special issue of District Administration. We regularly update our New Products directory (www.districtadministration.com/newproducts) with products that we think are worthy of a look, and on an annual basis our readers select those they believe to be solid resources for furthering district initiatives in the areas of hardware, software, Internet, books and materials, and facilities. This year’s Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products elicited a strong response, and like last year’s winners, they reflect the ratings and suggestions that readers posted on the DA Web site. This year we also benefited from the input of our advisory board.
Even through these uncertain economic times, it is clear that the practice of upgrading and maintaining technologies in our schools will remain robust. A part of the Obama administration’s stimulus plan will be to finance public schools, lessening the burden on local taxpayers and saving essential programs. The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) conducted a survey of superintendents in December 2008 to learn how school districts would spend onetime block-grant funds if they were to become available as part of a federal economic stimulus package. According to the survey, administrators have a long list of ready-to-go projects, with 97 percent of respondents having real projects that could be placed in the bid market in 60-90 days. Whether you are in the market for a particular product today, or have a growing vision for how to take your school into education’s digital age in the near future, we offer you this valuable resource.
In addition to the top 100 winners, in this issue we include “Dream Classrooms,” in which we hear from some of our readers what’s on the top of their new products wish lists. And after taking the lead on this special issue, and keeping us up to speed in the area of education products with his blog Product Posts (www.districtadministration.com/productposts), our products editor Kurt O. Dyrli has some thoughts on the future of education products. I promise you will laugh out loud.
After you’re done reading, send me an e-mail with any products that you think should be considered for next year’s top 100, or with your dream classroom wish list.
Judy Faust Hartnett, Editor