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In some ways, schools have come a long way technologically over the past ten years, but the priorities have changed. At first, the issue was simply equipping schools with computers. Then, the issue became ensuring that those computers had access to the Internet. Now, the issue is how to really put these capabilities to use in a way that improves educational outcomes.

"Education is the least information-technology-intensive industry of any industry in the U.S.," noted Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)." Its nowhere near where it is in every other sector. We havent been able to do a lot of creative thinking on that."

And as indicated in Technology Counts 2007: A Digital Decade, Education Weeks tenth annual report on educational technology, while most schools now have an ample number of computers connected to the Internet, few have plans for using the technology constructively. The report is a joint effort of Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center.

"Now most schools have Internet access, but there is no evidence of robust integration of technology into schools," said Caroline Hendrie, executive project editor for Technology Counts and an assistant managing editor at Education Week. "Schools have faltered in the area of technology integration."

"Instructionally, I see it [technology] simply amplifying what teachers had been doing prior to technology arriving on the scene," according to Doug Johnson, the director of media and technology for the Mankato (Minnesota) Public Schools and a technology consultant. "The transformative expectations of technology that many of us hoped for have not been realized for the most part."

More Electronics in Education Stories

ENGAGING ALL STUDENTS Interactive digital devices can get more students involved in class and give teachers immediate feedback on their progress.

PERSONALIZING THE WEB Kids already are living digital liveshow do schools harness that interest and expertise?

HOME CONNECTION Parents are critical to helping youngsters develop responsible, practical, and balanced approaches to using technology.

PULL OUT YOUR HANDHELDS AND CLICK ON PAGE The one-to-one movement opens up new ways of teaching and learning.

AND THE PLAN IS Theres lots of fun stuff out there, but instead of buying the latest and greatest, first determine what problems you need to solve. Then find the tools that provide the solutions.

Article by Ellen R. Delisio
Education World®
Copyright © 2007 Education World