Technology in Education: Report of the Technology Policy and Practices Council of the New York State Board of Regents

By Donlevy, Jim | International Journal of Instructional Media, Fall 2007 | Go to article overview

Technology in Education: Report of the Technology Policy and Practices Council of the New York State Board of Regents


Donlevy, Jim, International Journal of Instructional Media


INTRODUCTION

Learning technologies and digital resources continue to expand and proliferate in a global economy. As a first step towards more effective technology policy development in New York State, the Board of Regents recently established a Technology Policy and Practices Council to review the status of Pre-K-12 technology use in education. The Council's report, issued in July 2007, contains an overview of technology use in New York's schools, and provides recommendations for consideration by the Board of Regents. This article discusses the report and the recommendations of the Council.

TECHNOLOGY POLICY AND PRACTICES COUNCIL

The New York State Board of Regents appointed a 25-member Technology Policy and Practices Council to study how technology is used in education throughout the State. The Council engaged the Metiri Group of Culver City, California to analyze existing reports, collect data, visit schools, and produce a baseline of findings regarding technology use for further consideration and policy development. Based upon a year of study by the consultant group, the Council notes that there is significant, high-quality use of technology in evidence throughout New York Sate. However, there also is a real need for additional work to advance the potential of technology for enhancing teaching and learning.

There are a number of findings emerging from the study:

* New York State has not created a 21st Century vision and strategies for harnessing technology to further teaching, learning, and leading throughout the schools.

* There is an absence of systems thinking and systemic capacity-building to help promote innovative uses of technology in the State's schools.

* Capacity: New York State does not have a state-sponsored broadband network to advance technology. New York lags behind some other states in student-to-computer ratios.

* Digital Use: Students use computers in school fewer than two hours per week and this is generally for drill, practice, and online research. There are ample opportunities for more sophisticated use of computers by students, teachers, and administrators.

* Digital Content: There are numerous educational resources available throughout the State. Unfortunately, many are inaccessible to students. Digital research and development projects are recommended to make them available. Among others, as the report indicates, the following excellent content resources are available:

1. New York Virtual Learning System (VLS). This is provided by the New York State Education Department. It includes the Learning Standards and provides access to other digital resources. …

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