Planning, Forecasting, and Inventing Your Computers-in-Education Future

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Appendix C: Goals for ICT in Education

Information on its own is not enough to produce actionable knowledge… Looking beyond information, as we have tried to do, provides a richer picture of learning. Learning is usually treated as a supply-side matter, thought to follow teaching, training, or information delivery. But learning is much more demand driven. People learn in response to need. When people cannot see the need for what’s being taught, they ignore it, reject it, or fail to assimilate it in any meaningful way. Conversely, when they have a need, then, if the resources for learning are available, people learn effectively and quickly. (John Seely Brown & Paul Duguid, The Social Life of Information. Harvard Business School Press, 2000)

As you work to invent the future of ICT in education in your classroom, school, or school district, you will likely want to take into consideration a carefully thought out list of goals of ICT in education. This Appendix contains a list of goals for ICT in education. You may want to include some of them, or modifications of some of them, in the future that you are inventing.

ICT Goals

A variety of people and organizations have recognized the need for and value of having widely agreed upon ICT goals for students, teachers, teacher’s assistants, and school administrators.

However, ICT is both a complex and rapidly growing field. Thus, goal setters have been faced by the problem of developing and implementing goals that are appropriate to a rapid pace of change. This has led many people to be rather cautious about formulating and attempting to implement rather precisely defined goals for ICT in education.

A significant part of the challenge of such goal setting is to develop goals that will continue to be appropriate as ICT and ICT in education change quite rapidly. As you read this appendix, examine each goal from the point of view of its potential longevity and flexibility.

The 13 goals given here are slight modifications of goals given in Moursund (1997). A number of these goals were first published in Moursund and Ricketts (1988).

Student Goals—Functional ICT Literacy

The four goals listed in this section serve to define functional ICT literacy and provide guidelines to K-12 curriculum developers. Notice the combined emphasis on both basic skills and on higher-order, problem-solving skills.

Goal 1: ICT literacy, basic level. All students shall be functionally literate in ICT. A basic level of ICT literacy should be achieved by the end of the eighth grade. It consists of a relatively broad-based, interdisciplinary, general knowledge of ICT applications, capabilities, limitations, how computers work, and societal implications of computers and other information technology. Here are six specific objectives that underlie this information technology literacy goal.

A. General knowledge. Students shall have oral and reading knowledge of computers and other information technology, and their effects on our society. More specifically, each discipline that students study shall include instruction about how electronic aids to information processing and problem solving are affecting that specific discipline.

B. Procedural thinking. Students shall have knowledge of the concept of effective procedure, representation of procedures, roles of procedures in problem solving, and a broad range of examples of the types of procedures that computers can execute.

C. Generic tools. Students shall have basic skills in use of word processing, database, computer graphics, spreadsheet, and other general purpose, multidisciplinary application packages. This also includes basic skills in using menu-driven hypermedia software to create hypermedia materials as an aid to communicating.

D. Telecommunications. Students shall have basic skills in using telecommunications to communicate with people and to make effective use of computerized databases and other sources of information located both locally (for example, in a school library, a school district library, a local community library) and throughout the world. They shall have the knowledge and skills to make effective use of the Internet and the World Wide Web.

E. Hardware. Students shall have basic knowledge of the electronic and other hardware components and how they function sufficient to "dispel the magic." They shall understand the functionality of hardware sufficient to detect and correct common difficulties, such as various components not being plugged in or not receiving power, various components not being connected, and printer out of paper.

F. Computer input. Students shall have basic skills in use of a variety of computer input devices, including keyboard and mouse, scanner, digital camera, touch screen, and probes used to input scientific data. They shall have introductory knowledge of voice input and pen-based systems.

Goal 2: ICT literacy, intermediate level. Deeper knowledge of computers and other information technology as they relate to the specific disciplines and topics one studies in senior high school. Some examples:

A. Skill in creating hypermedia documents. This includes the ability to design effective communications in both print and electronic media, as well as experience in desktop publication and desktop presentation.

B. Skill in use of information technology as an aid to problem solving in the various high school disciplines. A student taking advanced math would use computer modeling. A commercial art student would create and manipulate graphics electronically. Industrial arts classes would work with computer-aided design. Science courses would employ microcomputer-based laboratories and computer simulations.

C. Skill in computer-mediated, collaborative, interdisciplinary problem solving. This includes students gaining the types of communication skills (brainstorming, active listening, consensus-building, etc.) needed for working in a problem-solving environment.

Goal 3: Computer-as-tool in curriculum content. The use of computer applications as a general-purpose aid to problem solving using word processor, database, graphics, spreadsheet, and other general purpose application packages shall be integrated throughout the curriculum content. The intent here is that students shall receive specific instruction in each of these tools, probably before completing elementary school. Middle school, junior high school, and high school curriculum shall assume a working knowledge of these tools and shall include specific additional instruction in their use. Throughout secondary school and in all higher education, students shall be expected to make regular use of these tools, and teachers shall structure their curriculum and assignments to take advantage of and to add to student knowledge of computer-as-tool.

Goal 4: ICT literacy courses. A high school shall provide both of the following "more advanced" tracks of computer-related coursework.

A. Computer-related coursework preparing a student who will seek employment immediately upon leaving school. For example, a high school business curriculum shall prepare students for entry-level employment in a computerized business office. A graphic arts curriculum should prepare students to be productive in use of a wide range of computer-based graphic arts facilities. Increasingly, some of these courses are part of the Tech Prep (Technical Preparation) program of study in a school.

B. Computer science coursework, including problem solving in a computer programming environment, designed to give students a college-preparation type of solid introduction to the discipline of computer science.

Student Goals—Independent Lifelong Learning

The three goals listed in this section focus on computer technology as an aid to general learning.

Goal 5: Distance education. Telecommunications and other electronic aids are the foundation for an increasingly sophisticated distance education system. Education shall use distance education, when it is pedagogically and economically sound, to increase student learning and opportunities for student learning.

Note that in many cases distance education may be combined with computer-assisted learning (CAL, see Goal 6) and carried out through the WWW (see Goal 1D), so that there is not a clear dividing line between these two approaches to education. In both cases students are given an increased range of learning opportunities. The education may take place at a time and place that is convenient for the student, rather than being dictated by the traditional course schedule of a school. The choice and level of topics may be more under student control than in our traditional educational system.

Goal 6: Computer-assisted learning (CAL). Education shall use computer-assisted learning when it is pedagogically and economically sound, to increase student learning and to broaden the range of learning opportunities. CAL includes drill and practice, tutorials, simulations, and microworlds. It also includes computer-managed instruction (see Objective C below). These CAL systems may make use of virtual realities technology.

A. All students shall learn both general ideas of how computers can be used as an aid to learning and specific ideas on how CAL can be useful to them. They shall become experienced users of CAL systems. The intent is to focus on learning to learn, being responsible for one's own learning, and being a lifelong learner. Students have their own learning styles, so different types of CAL will fit different students to greater or lesser degrees.

B. In situations in which CAL is a cost-effective and educationally sound aid to student learning or to overall learning opportunities, it will be an integral component of the educational system. For example, CAL can help some students learn certain types of material significantly faster than can conventional instructional techniques. Such students should have the opportunity to use CAL as an aid to learning. In addition, CAL can be used to provide educational opportunities that might not otherwise be available. A school can expand its curriculum by delivering some courses largely via CAL.

C. Computer-managed instruction (CMI) includes record keeping, diagnostic testing, and prescriptive guides as to what to study and in what order. CMI software is useful to both students and teachers. Students should have the opportunity to track their own progress in school and to see the rationale for the work they are doing. CMI can reduce busywork. When CMI is cost-effective and instructionally sound, staff and students shall have this aid.

Goal 7: Students with special needs. Computer-related technology shall be routinely and readily available to students with special needs when research and practice have demonstrated its effectiveness.

A. Computer-based adaptive technologies shall be made available to students who need such technology for communication with other people and/or for communication with a computer.

B. When CAL has demonstrated effectiveness in helping students with particular special learning needs, it shall be made available to the students.

C. All staff that work with students with special needs shall have the knowledge and experience needed to work with these students who are making use of computer-based adaptive technologies, CAL, and computer tools.

Educational System Goals—Capacity Building

The three goals in this section focus on permanent changes in our educational system that are needed to support achievement of Goals 1-7 listed previously.

Goal 8: Staff development and support. The professional education staff shall have computers to increase their productivity, to make it easier for them to accomplish their duties, and to support their computer-oriented growth. Every school district shall provide for staff development to accomplish Goals 1-7, including time for practice, planning, and peer collaboration. Teacher training institutions shall adequately prepare their teacher education graduates so they can function effectively in a school environment that has Goals 1-7.

This means, for example, that all teachers shall be provided with access to computerized data banks, word processors, presentation graphics software, computerized gradebooks, telecommunications packages, and other application software that teachers have found useful in increasing their productivity and job satisfaction. Computer-based communication is becoming an avenue for teachers to share professional information. Every teacher should have telecommunications and desktop presentation facilities in the classroom. Computer-managed instruction (CMI) can help the teacher by providing diagnostic testing and prescription, access to item data banks, and aids to preparing individual education plans.

Goal 9: Facilities. The school district shall integrate into its ongoing budget adequate resources to provide the hardware, software, curriculum development, curriculum materials, staff development, personnel, and time needed to accomplish the goals listed above.

Goal 10: Long-term commitment. The school district shall institutionalize computers in schools through the establishment of appropriate policies, procedures, and practices. Instructional computing shall be integrated into job descriptions, ongoing budgets, planning, staff development, work assignments, and so on. The school district shall fully accept that "computers are here to stay" as an integral part of an Information Age school system. The community-the entire formal and informal educational system-shall support and work to achieve the goals listed above.

Assessment and Evaluation Goals

The three goals listed in this section focus on doing strategic planning and on obtaining information about the effectiveness of programs for information technology that are implemented by teachers, schools, and school districts.

Goal 11: Strategic plan. Each school and school district shall have a long-range strategic plan for information technology in education. The plans shall include ongoing formative evaluation and yearly updating.

Goal 12: Student assessment. Authentic and performance-based assessment shall be used to assess student learning of information technology. For example, when students are being taught to communicate and to solve problems in an environment that includes routine use of the computer as a tool, they shall be assessed in the same environment.

Goal 13: Formative, summative, and residual impact evaluation. Implementation plans for information technology shall be evaluated on an ongoing basis, using formative, summative, and residual impact evaluation techniques. Formative evaluation provides information for mid-program corrections. It is conducted as programs are being implemented. Summative evaluation provides information about the results of a program after it has been completed, such as a particular staff development program, a particular program of loaning computers to students for use at home, and so on. Residual impact evaluation looks at programs in retrospect, perhaps a year or more after a program has ended. For example, a year after teachers participated in an inservice program designed to help them learn to use some specific pieces of software in their classrooms, are they actually using this software or somewhat similar software?

Goals for Teacher Technology Education

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is the official body in the United States for accrediting teacher preparation programs. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has worked with NCATE for a number of years in the development of teacher preparation standards. In more recent years, ISTE has developed three sets of National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). (See ISTE NETS.) These are:

• NETS for Students.

• NETS for Teachers

• NETS for School Administrators

In brief summary, ISTE recommends that a teacher should meet the ISTE NETS for students, be adequately prepared to help students meet the ISTE NETS for Students, and meet the additional goals:

Goal 1: TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS AND CONCEPTS. Teachers demonstrate a sound understanding of technology operations and concepts.

Goal 2: PLANNING AND DESIGNING LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND EXPERIENCES. Teachers plan and design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology.

Goal 3: TEACHING, LEARNING, AND THE CURRICULUM. Teachers implement curriculum plans, that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning

Goal 4: ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION. Teachers apply technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies.

Goal 5: PRODUCTIVITY AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE. Teachers use technology to enhance their productivity and professional practice.

Goal 6: SOCIAL, ETHICAL, LEGAL, AND HUMAN ISSUES. Teachers understand the social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in PK-12 schools and apply those principles in practice.

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