Friday, January 07, 2005

Schools Have Not Integrated Technology

From an article at CNET.com, the US Department of Education has released a report on public schools (K-12) and technology integration. In the Executive Summary, you see this statement (the phrase in italics is mine):
It is the responsibility of this nation’s educational enterprise – including policymakers – to help secure our economic future by ensuring that our young people are adequately prepared to meet these challenges [mastery and application of new technologies]. Today, they are not. This report explores why – and recommends steps to ensure that they will be.
Thanks primarily to the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund, I think Texas had a head start on providing not only the technologies, but also the training to use them. Among the Action Steps of the report, you see "Improve Teacher Training." It includes:
  • improving teacher preparation in technology.
  • providing teachers opportunities to take online classes.
  • improving the quality & consistency of teacher education.
  • ensuring that teachers understand how to use data to personalize instruction.

Although important, it's what I don't see in this section that concerns me. Although it may be a minor point, it usually gets lost in any training project. Time. Time away from the school, away from the students, away from meetings to become proficient in using the technology, think about how it could be used and then make changes to the instruction being provided.

As librarians (school, public, academic, and special), I think we are very fortunate. There has been a lot of technology training in this state. While there may not have been as much time as we would have liked to incorporate it, we have a strong network (not the technical kind) we can rely on.

Scanning this report, I didn't see any mention of school librarians (although it was a quick scan, so I may have missed it). My guess is that, if you looked anywhere in the school for true technology integration, the library would be the place you would find it.

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