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

Making Waves: States and Districts Are Implementing Technology Integration Efforts That Recognize the Ripples Running across the Ed Tech World

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

Making Waves: States and Districts Are Implementing Technology Integration Efforts That Recognize the Ripples Running across the Ed Tech World

Article excerpt

AS THE WORLD HAS MOVED from the agricultural to the industrial to the information age, it has become more complex and interconnected. Our society was once like a feather bed--push down on the corner and only the corner is affected. Since industrialization, it is more like a water bed--push down on the corner and the waves affect the entire area as they move across it.

And so it is with education technology as the field matures. Over time, the technologies in K-12 schools have grown more complex and our uses of them more sophisticated--moving figuratively from feather bed to water bed. At one time we thought we could install a computer lab in a school, teach computer literacy, and we'd be done. Now we realize we're never done. Schools not only need additional tools, but the tools they need depend on other technology products and services.

The growing complexity of educational technology was at the front of the minds of SETDA (State Educational Technology Directors Association; www.setda.org) board members in preparation for a meeting with US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. We wanted to communicate to Spellings and her staff what it takes to successfully bring K-12 schools into the 21st century. We identified the following elements:

1) Visionary leadership for technology-aided systemic change.

2) Involvement in and ownership of the leaders' vision among all stakeholders.

3) Rigorous curriculum, dynamic content, multiple resources, and relevant technology tools in all subject areas, accessible by teachers, parents, and students.

4) Ongoing and sustainable professional development for teachers and administrators through such models as instructional technology coaches and technologically linked communities of learners. …

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