Thursday, June 21, 2007

lesson 5

Establish standards for any institution must be a complicated, infinite task. Technology, and education by themselves are intricate subjects that everyone has a belief system for. Combining the two issues is sure to raise passions, opinions and debate. The roles of teachers, administrators, and students need to be defined, and goals must be recognized. Standards are without a doubt necessary for education to function and evolve. Once set in stone, the standards are easy to target and ridicule as Gary Stager does in June 2007 piece for District Administration Magazine. He uses the term technocentric, which he describes as using any use of technology to bolster the educational value of an activity. It is certain that all educators would agree that more technology does not guarantee better educational results or experiences for students. It is through this technocentric prism that Stager views the newly updated technology standards. To prove his point Stager references these charts designed by ISTE, that is used to justify the revision of the tech. standards. He points out the authors comparing facets technology that are not really related. There is some truth to Stager observances, but the charts should not be totally discounted. Link to charts.

However, criticism is part the growing process and to keep up with technology one cannot stop growing. Most people do not own cars that are ten- years old so it certain would seem that is time for updating the technology standards for education.
In comparing the new to the old some of the technology itself was not invented in 1998, and with the coming of the mini- revolution changing the standards is warranted. New terms have crept into out vocabulary such as digital citizenship. Stager is correct in pointing out that some terms have simply been redeveloped such as changing “technology research tools” to “research and information retrieval”. Nevertheless, with a more technically literate and skilled public the goals of ISTE standards should not be “basic operation” it should be “creativity and innovation.”
One could point out the standards both new and old have far more in common that they differences. Operating and concepts, planning and designing learning environments, assessment and evaluation, and social/ ethical us of technology still dominate both documents. True some of the language has been reconstruct, but the emphasis remains on using technology to benefit students learning. On cannot also underestimate the effect of the critical thinking movement have had an education as a whole. Many education standards are being reestablishing to include the concept of critical thinking to maximize student cognition.
In updating the ISTE standards, technology facilitators have to consider certain aspects of technology that did not exist in 1998. The growth and use of the Internet far exceeds what many of us would have imagined in the late nineties. Communication technology now allows anyone to access the Internet from the cell phone or palm pilot, not just CEOs. Social networking sites allow for easy of interaction, and pose a dangerous threat to those who are unaware. One could argue that the developments warrant revising any technology standard. If teachers, administrators, and students must be constantly prepared to grow in their use of technology, there should be no hesitation to amend or update the standards involved.

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