Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Planning for Educational Technology

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Planning for Educational Technology

Article excerpt

It is reported that Thomas Edison conducted some 50,000 experiments before finally developing a simple storage battery. Though many commented on his excessive number of failures, Edison saw his attempts in a different light. He not only knew of one thing that did work, he had also learned that 50,000 didn't.

* Some History

Educators don't have the same luxury to experiment that Edison did. Too many voices are calling for reform and results! In an effort to respond, many educators and policy makers are turning to computers and other technology as the "magic solution." But technology doesn't bring results; people's applications of it do.

Thoughtful planning--which fosters a step-by-step, learn-as-you-go approach--is the key to getting people to use educational technology to improve schools.

A 1985 survey by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) yielded interesting data. School districts reported that about 85% of their computer acquisitions were not planned, Also, while 96% of the school; systems responding to a 1984 NSBA survey said computers were being used for instruction, only 14% had plans for acquiring software.

Several years later, a survey of 773 of the country's largest school districts, conducted in 1988 by Control Data Corp. and NSBA, was more encouraging. A majority of the districts--92%--had a technology plan in place. Still, not all had written plans, and more than half focused on computer literacy and instructional computing rather than the comprehensive integration of both instructional and management technology.

* The Latest Figures

Obviously, this was a step in the right direction, but still not the total vision required. …

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