Dramatic education technology innovations
were achieved by the end of the Twentieth century. Education Technology Goals
set in 1996 were realized through the combined efforts of federal, state, local
and private investors:
School computers are connected to
local area networks and the information available via the Internet; the governmental
e-rate is instrumental
in achieving this goal. 98% of American schools are connected to the Internet.
quality software responsive to the needs of all students continues to be developed
receive ongoing training on the integration of technology to meet education goals.
90% of teachers have received technology training
Current federal priorities include new Educational Technology Initiatives,
which call for a technology plan for the nation's schools to achieve five key
goals for integrating computers into American Classrooms.
students and teachers will have access to information technology in their classrooms,
schools, communities and homes.
teachers will use technology effectively to help students achieve high academic
All students will
have technology and information literacy skills.
and evaluation will improve the next generation of technology applications for
teaching and learning.
content and networked applications will transform teaching and learning.
e-Learning website offers several strategies for meeting each of these goals.
of Educational Technology, 2002)
Education Technology Standards have been prepared for students, teachers and administrators
2003, the State Educational Technology Directors developed the National Leadership
Institute Toolkit - States Helping States to Implement No Child Left Behind (NCLB,
2001). The toolkit concentrates on five themes that transcend NCLB, such as: Scientifically
Based Research, Technology Literacy Assessment, Common Data Elements, Evaluating
Effective Teaching and the National Education Technology Plan.
Computers for Access
Unfortunately, the rapid increase
of educational technology has not sufficiently addressed the needs of students
with disabilities. Access for these students is just beginning to be identified
as an important factor when purchasing educational technology.
To ensure access to electronic and information
technology, the Federal government has developed standards to ensure access to
electronic and information technology. These standards, regulated under Section
508 of the Rehabilitation Act (1998) are the first of their kind in the Federal
sector. They provide criteria that spell out what makes Information Technology
products accessible to people with disabilities, including those with vision,
hearing, and mobility impairments. Products standards include those for software,
web-based information, telecommunications, video and multimedia and computers.
Districts should look to these standards when purchasing education technology.
may offer solutions when...
- Print size is too small.
- Too much
information is on the page or screen.
- Students' handwriting is slow and
legibility is poor.
- It's difficult to hear all that is being said.
needs to be read aloud to complete assignments.
- Organizational skills
- Classroom objects used for manipulation activities are difficult
to locate and interact with
- Alternate tasks and materials are required
to achieve academic outcomes (i.e., class projects, written and verbal tasks and