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How much should we spend on computers?

August 7th, 2007 by Graham Attwell

There’s an interesting (sort of) and confusing discussion going on on one of the Becta mailing lists.

Ray Tolley asked of anyone could tell him the total spend On ICT in education in the UK.

The most useful of the responses, he says, “came from Richard Selwyn, Project Manager, Becta … which, when adding all the separate figures together points up a total spend this next year of £860m for 2007-2008. As a proportion of the

£34bn total education budget reported in the Guardian that makes a 2.53% spend on ICT. This compares with the US in 1998 when the figure was identified by Anderson and Becker as 2.7% ..”.

It has been suggested in later posts that the Becta figures may only be spend in england and so for the UK as a whole the percentage would be higher.

My question is what does it mean? How important is the total (and percentage) invested in ICT? Of course computers are useful for computer supported learning. But investment in professional development for teachers may pay a higher dividend for learning than investment in more machines.

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