Online, in Line, at the Front of the Line

By Lovejoy, Bret | Techniques, March 2000 | Go to article overview

Online, in Line, at the Front of the Line


Lovejoy, Bret, Techniques


How can we ensure the success of career and technical education for the future? I can sum it up by saying we must get online, in line and at the front of the line. Here is what I mean:

Career and technical education must get online with technology. And I mean technology in its broadest sense. Individual teachers, schools and school districts, and state departments of education need to undertake a massive effort to upgrade the technological skills of the career-tech teaching force. Teachers must be equipped to use technology in the classroom to benefit student learning. Our programs and schools must get online with courses and other offerings that will attract more students and turn our programs into the leaders in educational innovation.

Career and technical education must get in line with the needs of business and industry in our local areas and nationwide. If your program has not re-thought how it includes local businesses in planning and curriculum development, then it would be a good time to do so. Starting, re-starting, or re-energizing your advisory councils with the strong input of the businesses that will hire the graduates of your programs is essential.

We also must get in line with education reform initiatives. While avoiding "flavor of the day" reforms, career and technical education can blaze the trail for results-oriented change in our schools, as it already is doing in many parts of the country.

As we align ourselves with education reform and the needs of business and industry, we also need to get ourselves in line. Too often there are career and technical educators who want to do their own thing without regard to the goals and needs of the overall enterprise. At a time when our local, state and national associations need the participation of every career and technical educator it seems we are having the most difficulty getting them on board. …

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