Educational Technology

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Foundations of Education

Since the beginning of time, the development of technology has helped advance society in many ways. From the invention of the light bulb by Thomas Edison to the making and remodeling of today's common vehicle, the constant improvements in technology have allowed the world to advance far beyond belief. One of the most important aspects of life in which technology has made a difference is education. For instance, in the mid 1960's computers were about the size of a three-bedroom house and had to be cooled by fans the size of cars. Nowadays, in an elementary school classroom a computer can be found for every four kids (Milshtein 1998). Still with the advancement of technology on what seems to be a daily rate, the integration into education raises a lot of questions. Many of the questions, which are raised in today's culture, deal with equity and teacher comprehension (Mageau, Kenney 1994). The question is asked in today's world how do we improve the integration of technology in education and address all the issues at the same time?

To improve education, one must first recognize technology is the main instrument to use. Bill Gates, the CEO of Microsoft Incorporated, believes in creating learning communities to enable students as well as teachers, parents, and administrators to enhance their knowledge of today's technological advances. Gates feels these technological learning communities will remove the distance between computers and people and allow individuals to expand and explore only what they could imagine. However, the integration of computers and other types of technology does not replace what a teacher can do. Such processes in the learning communities can and will only be accomplished if and only if teachers comprehend and integrate such exercises into daily learning objectives (Gates 1996). According to recent studies conducted on teachers, around 50% of the teachers questioned stated they were unqualified or ill-prepared to integrate many of today's technologies in their lesson plans, and a low percentage, around 20%, testified they could adequately incorporate technology in their daily instruction. The information from these studies raises a lot of anxiety among the administrators who set the curriculum. The reason for the rise in concern is the way technology has become the basis of today's society particularly in education and colleges. Many of the young teachers who have chosen to integrate their lessons with technology tend to do it only with activities in which they have complete control. According to the OTA, Office of Technology Assessment, there are many teachers who still are hesitant to insert new technology into lessons; these teachers insist they are content with overhead projectors and videotapes (Duhaney 2001).

In order to encourage teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum, they need to be taught more about technology and the various ways it can be incorporated into their daily lesson plans, according to the OTA. A major leader in addressing this procedure is the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, NCATE. NCATE is responsible for creating and introducing training programs for teachers who need to develop new approaches, philosophies, as well as overall attitudes in regards to technology in the classroom. A positive change in direction toward integrating technology occurred when the NCATE teamed up with the International Society for Technology in Education, ISTE, to design standards intended for teachers to be taught about technology in education as well as a means to persuade institutions of education to accentuate the use of technology throughout the educational system. According to the ISTE, teachers should be confident in their basic computer skills as well as in the function of technology in lessons. The standards established by NCATE and ISTE are the only guidelines encouraging the integration of technology...
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