3/18/10 – State, Federal Policymakers Foresee the Increasing Importance of Technology in K-12 Education Policy and Practice
Hey readers and welcome back from what I hope was a relaxing break. Hopefully you guys had fun and stayed safe for the most part.
While I was walking with a friend the other day, just discussing how we felt about the average person and their knowledge of how computers work and basic problem solving skills, you know, things that are normally on a 21 year old’s mind, we started to wonder about whether or not it would be a good decision in a small business, to require your workers to have basic computer problem solving skills. Now, obviously, no harm could come from having extra knowledge on the subject. In fact, couldn’t it possibly allow for a business owner to not have to rely as heavily on an IT support team having workers who can identify, diagnose, and possibly even solve an issue on site without having to contact a help desk of some sort? We could see some possibilities of having to hire less IT professionals resulting in saving money.
Now today’s article may not be exactly between the lines of this topic, but it definitely caught my eye. Last week, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) held an event to plan federal and state investments in broadband and educational technology in schools. The goal of the meeting was to figure out how we can use technology to help schools address longstanding educational challenges, drive innovations in teaching, learning and assessment, better prepare students for their future, and save money.
Karen Cator, who is the Director of Education Technology in the Office of the Secretary, US Dept. of Education for the Obama administration gave a brief summary of the plan, which is now open to public comment. “If we are serious — and we are — about getting many more kids over a much higher bar, we have to transform our schools and empower teachers and students with the best possible technology of the day. Strong state leadership to ensure meaningful use at scale is vitally important. At the same time, we see technology offering unique opportunities to invigorate and inspire teachers and students.”
As someone who has a passion for technology and plans on making his living off of it, I can only offer my best support for this idea. The plan focuses on educating students and teachers in grades K-12 by providing classrooms with up-to-date computer technology, including broadband internet access for schools and libraries at a discounted rate, provided by the FCC’s Omnibus Broadband Initiative.
I feel Sue Gendron, the Commissioner of Education in Maine and the President of CCSSO said put the idea where it needs to be. “Technology in education cannot be assumed or it just won’t happen. In Maine, we aligned our educational goals with the technology — tools, training, access, and infrastructure — necessary to accomplish those goals. We set a minimum threshold for spending on educational technology and threaded together state and federal dollars to make it happen.”
Let me know what you guys think. Do you think we should focus spending on other areas? Is this an important issue, especially with where we stand with technology today?
Thanks for reading, all, and don’t forget the quiz on blackboard! Here’s the link to the article.
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