Should Hawaii’s Department of Education Pay a Mainland Vendor to Watch Videos?

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‘Author’s note: At the beginning of the 2010 Hawaii Legislative session, with the State facing a $1.1 billion budget deficit, I wrote a five-part series for our our Legislature and for our tech community. The purpose was to demonstrate simple procurement decisions, and abuses, that subsidized technology-driven jobs in locations other than our own economy.’

”Paying to Watch Videos”


Today I introduce you to the Statewide license purchased from the School Improvement Network, (SIN). The product is a collection of professional development videos from PD360.

Imagine our DOE, with 330 schools and decades of experience, purchasing instructional videos from a mainland vendor. This is what our DOE has just done. The price list for the vendor, School Improvement Network (SIN), can be found here:

S.I.N. Price List:

Considering the Budget Crisis and the Lack of Jobs in Hawaii, please ask yourself the following:

*1. Based on the price list for individual purchases, how many millions of dollars did our DOE pay for the right to watch videos from mainland ‘experts’?

*2. When in the shortened school year are educators supposed to find time to watch these videos?

*3. Who has planned for the bandwidth impact on each school’s limited broadband connection, especially with the HSA becoming an online test?

*4. How much will this license cost to renew next year?

*5. Why did we not pay our own DOE experts from our 330 schools a slight stipend to record their advice for others?

*6. Why are we not hosting our own ‘expert’ videos in the DOE’s network, and why are we not selling this product to other schools?

‘2010 R. Scott Belford: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.’