Technology Update


Going the Distance

More and more teachers are finding professional development by booting up the computer, rather than attending more classes or conferences. Online courses have grown so popular that they've created an "educational revolution" in higher education, according to a report released bv the American Association of University Women (AAUW). More than 6,000 accredited college and graduate-level courses were offered on the Web in 2000, the report says, and 60 percent of online learners over 25 are women.

Some of the drawbacks complained about by distance learners in the report were the loneliness of online learning, the difficulty in finding funding, the challenge of making time for coursework, and problems in keeping up with changing technology.

Still, it seems clear that distance learning is a revolution that will continue to evolve and change the face of education. For more information, go to www.aauw.org.

Tops in Tech

South Dakota leads the nation in school technology for the second year in a row, according to the 2001 Digital State Survey conducted by the Center for Digital Government.

The annual survey rates the progress of state governments in adopting and using digital technologies to improve delivery of services to their citizens, including law enforcement, electronic commerce, digital democracy and education.

Last year. South Dakota ranked first in the categories of K-12 and higher education. This year, the survey compressed the two categories into one. Illinois and Utah tied with South Dakota for the top position in education this year under the new criteria; all three states received a perfect score in the survey.

Rankings were based on an assessment of how many administrative functions can be performed online for state colleges and universities; how many colleges post classroom information online and provide distance education pro- 1 grams; whether progress reports on public schools and students are available online; and whether states have deployed electronic learning (eLearning) systems. …

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