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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Educational Technology: The Focus of Four Reports

Important reports on educational technology.
By Edutopia
Edutopia Team

The new report adds five ambitious new goals to the National Educational Technology Plan.

Credit: US Department of Education

Four important reports on educational technology have been released since December 2000. Together, they provide the most current thinking and findings on the effectiveness of educational technology, examples of model programs, and a glimpse of new technologies to come.

E-Learning: Putting a World-Class Education at the Fingertips of All Children

In 1996, the U.S. Department of Education released the first National Educational Technology Plan, which set forth a vision and goals for the effective use of technology in education.

The revised plan, released in December 2000, summarizes the progress made since 1996 and urges national, state, and local action to support ongoing efforts to improve teaching and learning with technology. It also added five ambitious new goals:

1. All students and teachers will have access to information technology in their classrooms, schools, communities and homes.

2. All teachers will use technology effectively to help students achieve high academic standards.

3. All students will have technology and information literacy skills.

4. Research and evaluation will improve the next generation of technology applications for teaching and learning.

5. Digital content and networked applications will transform teaching and learning.

Download a PDF file of the plan, or, for further information, visit the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology.

This report is the culmination of a year's work by the sixteen-member Web-Based Education Commission.

Credit: The Web-Based Education Commission

The Power of the Internet for Learning: Moving From Promise to Practice

This 168-page report, released by the Web-Based Education Commission in December 2000, presents an analysis of the Internet's effect on education. The commission identified seven areas of improvement that can help the Internet reach its full potential as a tool for learning.

  • Broadband Access
  • Professional Development
  • Research and Development
  • Quality of Content
  • Regulations and e-Learning
  • Privacy and Protection
  • Funding

In each area, the report summarizes the state of current research, describes exemplary programs and initiatives, and offers policy recommendations.

The report is the culmination of a year's work by the sixteen-member commission, which was co-chaired by Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska and Congressman Johnny Isakson of Georgia. The group gathered testimony from hundreds of educators, policymakers, technologists, business leaders, and others as the basis for the report.

The full report, along with supporting documents such as transcripts of witness testimony, is available on the Education Commission Web site.

This issue explores how the use of computers affects children's development.

Credit: The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

The Future of Children: Children and Computer Technology

This 192-page journal explores how the use of computers affects children's development, whether it increases or decreases disparities between rich and poor, and how it can be used effectively to enhance learning. The issue includes articles and commentary from leading experts in education technology. It is part of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation's campaign to disseminate information related to children's well-being.

An article by researchers at SRI International suggests that technology can enhance how children learn by supporting four key components of learning: (1) active engagement; (2) participation in groups; (3) frequent interaction and feedback, and (4) connections to real-world experts.

Other articles include "Children and Computers: New Technology, Old Concerns," by Dr. Ellen Wartella and Nancy Jennings; "Who's Wired and Who's Not: Children's Access to and Use of Computer Technology," by Dr. Henry J. Becker; and "Use of Computer Technology to Help Students with Special Needs," by Dr. Ted Hasselbring and Dr. Candyce Glaser. Five commentaries on the equitable and effective use of computers are given, including one by Dr. Milton Chen, GLEF's executive director.

Download a PDF file of the journal, or, for further information, visit the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

The map is intended to help users envision the future of educational technology.

Credit: Grove Consultants International and the Institute for the Future

Educational Technology Horizon Map, 2001-2010

This map and companion user manual are intended to help guide discussions and decisions about the future of educational technology, including technology acquisition, policy, and application. The map is a visual representation of what some of the best thinkers believe to be the ten-year horizon of educational technology: the opportunities, the risks, key issues, and emerging technologies. The guidebook explains the principles behind the map and offers activities and discussion questions.

The materials were created by the Grove Consultants International and the Institute for the Future and were funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology.

The map and user guide are available for $25. Contact the Grove Consultants International, P. O. Box 29391, Building 1000, Torrey Avenue, Presidio of San Francisco, CA 94129-0391, 415-561-2500 or 800-49GROVE.

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