Academic journal article The Technology Teacher

President's Message: Advancing the Tide of Technology Education: Four Simple Words (Technology, Innovation, Design, and Engineering) Form the Acronym TIDE and Modify the Term "Technology Education" to Provide a Succinct Idea of What We Are About

Academic journal article The Technology Teacher

President's Message: Advancing the Tide of Technology Education: Four Simple Words (Technology, Innovation, Design, and Engineering) Form the Acronym TIDE and Modify the Term "Technology Education" to Provide a Succinct Idea of What We Are About

Article excerpt

Technology, by its definition and nature, is dynamic: constantly changing, sometimes in a manner that is evolutionary, occasionally revolutionary. As the knowledge upon which technology is based transforms and the needs of society continue to change, technology advances to use the new knowledge to meet human and societal needs. This requires ongoing diligence by those responsible for managing and facilitating the study of technology in relation to the content, applications, and strategies for teaching and learning.

Vigorous change continues in the study of technology and the delivery of technology education because of the following factors: the integrating nature of technology, the need to prepare students for our developing technological world to meet changing human needs, input from our educational colleagues, industry, and the general public and, to some great degree, through the fervent efforts and dedication of outstanding teachers, supervisors, and teacher educators. No other field involving K-12 education has undergone such significant change in the last 25 years. No other group of educators has so assertively risen to the challenge.

Approaching a High-Water Mark

Significant strides have been made in the evolution of technology education of which we should all be very proud. In the last decade alone, the International Technology Education Association (ITEA) has provided the leadership for a wide range of initiatives designed to enhance technology education through technology, innovation, design, and engineering experiences at the K-12 school levels. ITEA's Technology for

All Americans Project has been responsible for the development and dissemination of three very significant documents: Technology for All Americans: A Rationale and Structure for the Study of Technology (1996), Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (2000/2002), and Advancing Excellence in Technological Literacy." Student Assessment, Professional Development, and Program Standards (2003). They provide a philosophical foundation and structure for the study of technology. They also lay out the content and standards of technology education, identify criteria for student assessment and professional development, and describe programs that help students attain technological literacy.

The report "Investigating the Influence of Standards" (National Research Council, 2002a) indicated that, like the content standards developed for math, science, and other academic areas, Standards for Technological Literacy (STL) may serve as the basis for educational reform by providing educators and policy makers clear learning outcomes upon which student success may be measured. STL presents standards that offer a vision of what literate citizens should know and be able to do within their respective subject area. It also provides descriptions of valuable teaching and assessment practices, paths to professional development, resources, and needed support. Like basic expectations of math and reading proficiency, the content for the study of technology is presented as a body of knowledge with which every person group should be knowledgeable: it is not just for a subgroup of society. With this in mind, STL emphasizes the importance of increased expectation, opportunities, and achievement of all students.

In addition to these standards and the documents previously mentioned, a myriad of other resources (print and electronic) continue to be developed to enhance the ability of teachers to realize excellence and promote student learning. These materials and other resources address issues related to curriculum and program planning and design, learning activities, and assessment.

Others are seeing the importance of the study of technology. A two-year study conducted under the auspices of the National Academy of Engineering and a component of the National Research Council by experts from many fields concluded, "that 'technological literacy'--an understanding of the nature and history of technology, a basic hands-on capability related to technology, and an ability to think critically about technological development--is essential for people living in a modern nation like the United States. …

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