Magazine article Technology & Learning

Training and Networked Solutions Your Way

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Training and Networked Solutions Your Way

Article excerpt

Not Baywatch

What am I doing out front here instead of back behind the scenes editing software reviews where I belong? Rolling out TrendWatch, ladies and gentlemen, a brand new, never before read or written T&L column, conceived to keep you up to date on the latest and greatest movements--techno-currents, if you will--in the software-hardware-Internet-spilling-over-into-other-stuff world. My fellow senior editor, Jean Shields, and I will be swapping this space on a monthly basis, and as she had the poor judgment to be at a dental appointment when the September issue came on the block, introductory remarks have fallen to me.

I won't go into detail on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the backs and forths of why we chose the name TrendWatch for this column (as opposed to, say, just plain Trends), but do want to assure you we were nowhere near a beach, or even a tub, at the time.

That said, here's what I see happening out there.

Teacher Training

Staff development, that traditionally missing link in educational technology, is finally beginning to get the respect it deserves. Jostens Learning, Davidson, and a few other publishers who have historically offered complex integrated learning systems or large, specialized curriculum packages, have always included some kind of teacher training options with the purchase of software. But with Net Days providing Internet access to more and more schools across the nation, record high moneys available for educational technology grants, and E-rate discounts offering an additional boost to schools, both software publishers and hardware companies are responding to a growing need to help all teachers learn how to integrate technology into their curriculum. Jostens' newest effort, for instance--and one that appears representative of the way staff training is shaping up--is a fully self-contained division that lets districts or schools completely tailor instruction to their particular needs. Compaq, IBM and other hardware companies are also getting into the training act via alliances with publishers, businesses, educational technology journals, and so forth.

Enterprise "Solutions"

What else? The call for increased assessment and accountability at federal, state and regional levels, and the growing installed base of reasonably powerful school networks are just two of the factors contributing to the host of brand new large networked software "solutions" now appearing on the market. …

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