The Weidenhammer Blog

Assessing eRate 2.0 – Part Two

Posted on: January 8th, 2015 | Category: Business Consulting, Technology

Last week during the first of a two-part series of blog posts, I discussed the modifications and changes associated with eRate 2.o and I asked, what do these changes mean for districts seeking eRate help to connect a campus?

Today, I’m going to tell you. One thing is very clear; strategic planning has never been more important. Previously, districts were required to have an approved three-year technology plan in order to qualify for much of eRate’s reimbursements. Most districts treated these plans as “credenza documents.” These program changes will make technology plans vital to a successful eRate process over a longer period of time. These new plans should continue to incorporate the district-wide goals and objectives with regard to technology, not only in the classroom, but also in areas like operations, business, administration, professional development, and more. Never has it been more important for districts to communicate internally to ensure that the Information Technology needs of today and tomorrow have been clearly identified, researched, discussed, and ultimately, included in the planning.

So, for those schools that have written off eRate completely or have discounted eRate down to simply an ISP and telco reimbursement program, I ask that you take another look. Gone are the days of simple technology plans created for the program, but doomed to live out their days in the IT department’s credenza. Today’s eRate looks better than ever and, if the program lives up to its renewed expectations, it should prove to be a valued resource for schools’ IT Directors and CIOs.

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Anthony Cartolaro

Anthony Cartolaro

Anthony Cartolaro is a Senior Consultant with the Weidenhammer Consulting Group, a division of Weidenhammer Systems Corporation. He has over 20 years of Information Technology experience as a Project Manager and IT Consultant, not only in the business segment, but also specializing in the education market. He possesses extensive knowledge of project management, software testing, and systems integration and implementation. His expertise includes educational technology for the classroom, including software and hardware, project planning and control, federal and state grant and technology budgeting, educational IT directorship duties, technology planning, mobile device management, 1:1 and BYOD programs, and professional development. Anthony is a member of the International Society for Technology Education, the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executives Group, and other national and international organizations that promote technology in education and effective IT Governance. He also services as a member of the Craft Advisory Board for the Bucks County Technical High School and as a trusted advisor to many other Philadelphia region schools and non-profits. Anthony also has extensive knowledge of the E-rate program. His experience within the E-rate program began during the program’s inception and has included strategic technology planning and program assistance to schools and libraries, as well as delivering E-rate-eligible equipment and services to E-rate recipients.