Thursday, July 12, 2007

Trends in Technology Education

Technological Literacy

Of the many technological trends in education today, they all unite in an attempt help students become technologically literate. To be “Technological literate” is defined as being knowledgeable about what technology is, how it works, what purpose it can serve, and how it can be used efficiently and effectively to achieve specific goals. The first to use the term literate is this way E.D. Hirsch who coined the phrase “Cultural Literacy.” Hirsch used the term literate to describe a person with a sufficient knowledge base of cultural items making them able to function and communicate in modern society. Technology being such a driving force of America’s culture it is no surprise that now being technologically literate is very important. Modern workers rely heavily on computers, cell phones, fax machines, and PDAs to perform their daily tasks. It is often assumed that when an employee is hired that they have basic skill with working with these forms of technology.
Education must now face the call to guarantee that students entering the work force have these skills and the knowledge base to develop greater technological abilities. Institutions in general are slow to change and with the fast pace of technology education has worked hard to keep up. The National Department of Education and individual states have established standards to communicate what they believe students need to do to be technologically literate. Students who are Technologically Literate can:

1. Demonstrate a sound conceptual understanding of the nature of technology systems and view themselves as proficient user of the systems.

2. Understand and model positive, ethical us of technology in both social and personal contexts.

3. Use a variety of technology tools in effective ways to increase creative productivity.

4. Use communication tools to reach out to the world beyond the classroom and communicate ideas in a powerful ways.

5. Use technology effectively to access, evaluate, process, and synthesize information from a variety of resources.

6. Use Technology to identify and solve complex problems in real-world contexts.

It is noteworthy that all of the standards that qualify a student as being technologically literate are key skills that employers will expect young professional to have. Student based technology education will help students not only understand technology, but be able to use to apply their skills to practical work situations.

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