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Topic: Top Tech Issues in Schools [plus CA information]
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
Top Tech Issues in Schools [plus CA information]
Posted: Jan 14, 2000 3:26 PM
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From New York Times on the Web, Technology/Cybertimes, January 5, 2000.
Thanks to Dr. Larry Stonecipher for bringing this article to our attention.

Predictions for the Top Tech Issues in Schools

By Pamela Mendels

Hand-held computers for public school students. New for-profit online
ventures from colleges and universities. A call for a moratorium on the
introduction of computers in the early grades.

These are some of the trends foreseen by a group of education experts who
agreed to gaze into their crystal balls and answer, by e-mail, the
following: What do you envision will be the two or three most interesting
or important developments in education and technology in the year 2000?
Here are excerpts of their comments.

B. Keith Fulton, director of technology programs and policy, the National
Urban League. Our nation is spending five to six billion dollars a year in
education and instructional technology. It's critical that policy makers
are able to point to the payoff on these investments. Expanded ed-tech
research and evaluation will be the key.

Rob Kling, professor of information systems and information science at
Indiana University. During the last five years, university faculty have
been increasing the extent to which they post their syllabi and some
teaching materials in publicly accessible sections of their Web sites. In
my view, this practice radically changes the accessibility of interesting
syllabi and teaching resources. . . . Another recent trend, actually much
newer, is that some universities are providing explicit consulting about
structure and pedagogy for faculty who teach Web-based courses. These
consulting efforts are constructive ways of reacting to the difficulties
that many faculty have in effectively teaching online and that many
students have in participating in such courses.

Casey Green, director of the Campus Computing Project, an annual survey of
campus technology. [On the horizon]: more competition for online education
companies, new online directions for many colleges. The money coming into
the education market will serve as a catalyst for many colleges and schools
to develop an online strategy. More colleges will develop for-profit

Linda Roberts, director, Office of Educational Technology, United States
Department of Education
(responded by phone): "I would hope to see a change in the way states
certify teachers [so as to] require, as a matter of course, technology
proficiency. . . . The revolution in smaller lower-cost devices is going to
change the way people think about the use of information technology in
learning. We will see more investment in devices like laptops and Palm

Jamieson A. McKenzie, editor of From Now On, online journal about
educational technology. I would predict a quickening demand for a return on
the technology dollar from the stakeholders who expect to see improved
student achievement. Along with these demands, will come pressure for
assessment, credible research and much more robust professional

Edward Miller, education researcher and writer. First, the use of
standardized testing in education will increase even more, and there will
be an explosion in the number of Web-based businesses and the sales of
"educational" software designed to improve children's scores on the new
tests. These will be promoted for use both in schools and at home. At the
same time, there will be increasing numbers of protests, especially from
minority communities, that technology-based test preparation and coaching
are disproportionately available to the rich, placing the poor and the non-
white at even greater risk of school failure. . . . Second, an
international group of doctors, scientists and researchers will call for a
moratorium on the introduction of computers in preschools and the early
elementary grades, because of growing evidence that use of computers in
early childhood not only confers no educational benefit but actually
interferes with normal, healthy physical and mental development. The
group's pronouncement will generate mostly scorn in the United States, but
several European countries will begin seriously to consider official
limitations on the use of computers in early education.

Keith R. Krueger, executive director, Consortium for School Networking.
[A]s a nation, and perhaps internationally, we will begin to look at the
so-called "digital divide" -- the fear that our poorest children and
families are being left behind in our emerging information society.

James E. Perley, chairman of the American Association of University
Professors' committee on accreditation. As distance education and online
courses continue to burgeon, the tension between traditional institutions
of higher education and solely proprietary entities will increase.

Jean Armour Polly, Net-mom and author of the Internet Kids & Family Yellow
Pages. I think we'll see pay-per-view online tutorials aimed at kids, and
live homework help via one-on-one chat spaces.

Gregory C. Farrington, president, Lehigh University. We . . . will see
rapid growth in the use of Web technologies to transform the education of
on-campus students in traditional residential programs. Residential
undergraduate education -- with the possible exception of football on
Saturday afternoon -- is likely to look very different a decade from now.

Gary Chapman, social policy researcher and director of the 21st Century
Project at the University of Texas in Austin. [There could be a] great
expansion in the after-school hours use of computers and networking
facilities by groups other than K-12 students and teachers. [At the same
time there could be] a growing movement to regard the school as a
"community resource" rather than as a single-purpose institution,
especially when there is expensive equipment sitting in the school doing
nothing every night and weekend.
The EDUCATION column is published weekly, on Wednesdays. Go to
for a list of links to other columns in the series.


I just received the following information from Carol Fry Bohlin, for your
information ...

The California Dept. of Education has recently made available on its Web
site a downloadable version (pdf) of the recently-published Mathematics
Framework for California Public Schools K-12, as well as the 1999
Reading/Language Arts Framework. Both are also available for purchase at
$17.50 (schools in California will receive free copies of both FWs based
upon the size of the school: the smallest schools will receive one set and
the largest schools will receive ten sets, with those in between receiving
2, 4, 6, or 8 sets of the FWs).

Both Frameworks are available for purchase or to download at the following


Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618) 453-4244
Phone: (618) 453-4241 (office)
(618) 457-8903 (home)


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