Advocating for Educational Technologies


Published on

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Advocating for Educational Technologies

  1. 1. E d i t o r S ’ r E m a r k S Glen Bull and Ann Thompson Advocating for Educational TechnologyF collectively work together to encourage and facilitate research in or the past quarter-century, the nation has invested substantial the identified areas. amounts in educational technology each year. Technology has changed almost every other facet of our lives—in commerce, Linking Research to Policyin entertainment, and our social lives. The Pew Foundation has even However, these actions, even though desirable, are not by themselves suf-documented ways in which technology has changed education outside ficient. Funding is needed to support comprehensive research programs,school. However, it has not yet made appreciable changes in the way that and ensure that such work is systemic rather than isolated. Althoughschools themselves operate, or upon student learning outcomes. legislative advocacy has not been a major agenda item for our commu- nity in the past, it appears that the time has come for all of us to gainThe Need for Direction expertise in this important area. On one level, we know that by speakingand a Cohesive Plan and acting together, we have the potential to influence our legislators toThe reasons for this are complex. One difficulty is that the power of include technology in teacher education in major initiatives. In practice,technology has not yet been focused on specific content areas for the most however, few of us have taken the time to educate ourselves about effec-part. With the exception of the graphing calculator in mathematics, the tive action in this important area.majority of uses of technology in schools are generic. Because the unique For that reason, an NTLC legislative advocacy task force has beencapabilities of technology have not been coupled to specific instructional established. ISTE maintains a legislative advocacy presence in Wash-objectives and methods in each content area, specific learning outcomes ington. The current director is Hillary Goldman. The NTLC initiativehave not been demonstrably affected for the most part. will build upon and extend current ISTE advocacy initiatives, includ- Another difficulty is the lack of research that focuses on student ing the ISTE Advocacy Tool Kit available on Web sitelearning outcomes. Surveys of teacher attitudes, for example, are much under the advocacy tab and the Education Technology Action Networkeasier to conduct than research that identifies factors related to learning (ETAN), which provides timely updates on federal education technologyoutcomes. As a result, we have very little research that demonstrates activity on the Web at: www.edtechactionnetwork.orgresults directly related to learning outcomes. The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education The lack of solid research on learning outcomes, in turn, makes the (AACTE) has a similar position, the director of government relations,process of teacher preparation more difficult. If best practices are not currently held by Jane West. Although this leading teacher education as-well documented, the specific curriculum that should be incorporated sociation and its counterpart in educational technology associations haveinto teacher education will be more difficult to identify. There is consid- not coordinated their advocacy efforts in the past, these two organizationserable variability in the way educational technology is integrated even are in the process of exploring how they might best work together.into programs recognized as exemplary, as might be expected under The eighth National Technology Leadership Summit (NTLS) alsosuch conditions. provides an opportunity for representatives from teacher education asso- ciations in core content areas to meet with journal editors and determineAddressing the Need how existing research needs might best be coupled with advocacy efforts.We need research that illustrates how best to affect learning out- Identification of needed research leading to best practices would be valu-comes in each content area. Once this is understood these practices able in any instance. However the convergence of representatives fromneed to be integrated into teacher preparation programs. The ef- these respective spheres provides an opportunity to connect our academicforts of the National Technology Leadership Coalition (NTLC) work with real-world activities in the policy address these needs have been described by Melissa Pierson in Dina Rosen, the NTLC early childhood representative, suggests thatthe President’s Column and in previous editorials. it might be advantageous to think of advocacy in broader terms that go NTLC is a coalition of educational technology journal editors beyond legislative action. One activity might include development ofand teacher education associations that has been meeting for sev- a list: “Ten Things an Individual Can Do.” Another strategy might beeral years with the objective of adoption of a proactive approach to consider the use of digital stories to make a difference. For example,to these needs. Representatives from each content area have been stories on successful projects and their impact could be used to seekmeeting with the technology committees of the corresponding funding, reinstatement of funding, and related goals.teacher education associations to identify needed research for each You can follow these efforts on the NTLS Web site ( As research priorities are identified, the journal editors will Periodic updates regarding these efforts will be posted on this site. An Editor’s Remarks continued on p. 282 Journal of Computing in Teacher Education Volume 23 / Number 1 Fall 2006Copyright © 2006 ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 541.302.3777 (Int’l),,
  2. 2. Appendix: Task #1: Use the eTech Web site to find one new idea for integratingTalk Aloud / Thinking Aloud Protocol technology into a science lesson for fourth grade students. Task #2: Use the eTech Web site to find a simple guide to decide whetherMain instructions technology is appropriate to use in a lesson.“I’m going to ask you to do several short tasks involving looking through Task #3: Use the eTech Web site to find one new idea for integratinga couple Web sites. The basic idea in the talk aloud exercise is to have you technology into a geometry lesson for eleventh grade students.describe everything that you’re doing, seeing, and thinking while you gothrough each task. It’s more than just talking aloud to yourself as you Task #4: Use the eTech Web site to find one resource to aid in teachingmight do in other situations, since you’ll be reporting all your thoughts other preservice teachers about technology integration.while going through this exercise. But, it’s not the same thing as being a Interview Questionsteacher, either, trying to explain the reasoning behind everything you dowith the Web site. Just think, reason in a loud voice, tell me everything Is there any topic listed on the Web site that you didn’t explore but wouldthat passes through your head while you work through the task. There is have liked to look at?no right or wrong way to go through this task.” Did you find it easy or difficult to navigate around the Web site? What made it easy or difficult?Reminders What do you think is most useful about this Web site as a resource forAfter 20 seconds of silence, the experimenter should say, “What are you teachers?thinking about?” What do you think is least useful about this Web site as a resource for teachers?Tasks What improvements, if any, can you see that would make the Web sitePractice Task: From the university’s homepage, find the current hours for a better resource for teachers?[name of the main] library.Editor’s Remarks continued from p. 2 useful insights for teacher educators interested in exploring the possibili-accompanying blog will also be made available so that you can participate ties of Weblogs for classroom teachers. This qualitative study focusesby contributing your thoughts. upon determining possible themes that emerge as teachers create and use Weblogs to enhance their professional practice.This Issue Teacher educators and classroom teachers working to design onlineThe four articles in this issue provide further rationale for the need for environments for teacher professional development will find the work ofadvocacy discussed in this column. Each of these articles suggests some Christine Greenhow, Sara Dexter and Eric Riedel useful as they provideof the exciting affordances of technology to enhance both teacher educa- three useful tools for evaluating both the pedagogical design and user-tion and student learning. centered functionality of these sites. In “A Comparison of Teacher Education Faculty and Preservice Using technology to enhance opportunities for teacher reflection isTeacher Technology Competence” Jim Carroll and Patricia Morrell share also the major theme for Lynn Bryan and Art Recesso in their study ofresults from a study comparing teacher education faculty members and the use of a video analysis tool to help enhance science teacher reflectivepreservice teachers with respect to self-perceptions of technology com- practice. In “ Promoting Reflection among Science Student Teachers us-petence. Findings from this study point to both faculty members and ing a Web-based Video Analysis Tool,” the authors explore a user-friendlystudents as having technological expertise and that each group might video analysis tool in helping both preservice and inservice teachersbenefit from the capability of the other. The study presents a positive engage in more reflective practice.picture of teacher education faculty members and their abilities to develop All four of the articles in this issue represent innovative approachesstudent knowledge of meaningful technology applications. to improving our use of technology in teacher education and provide a The work of Beverly Ray and Martha Hocutt reported in “Teacher- glimpse of some of the possibilities for future work. The urgent need forcreated, Teacher-centered Weblogs: Perceptions and Practices” provides legislative advocacy suggested in this column is further reinforced by the forward-looking projects highlighted in this issue. President’s Message continued from p. 3 posals. We’ll post further guidelines for possible SIGTE financial support to graduate student presenters at NECC 2007, as a way of encouraging future teacher educators to get involved in SIGTE activities. Although recognition of our 2005-2006 SIGTE volunteers took place at the SIGTE business meeting, I want to repeat my thanks to Melissa Pierson for her outstanding service as President from 2004-2006; her gracious and enthusiastic leadership increased active participation of SIGTE members. Thanks also to Karen Grove who was elected to a second term as Treasurer. Finally, at the Business Meeting, we recognized deceased member Bill Halverson’s many fine contributions to SIGTE and the educational community. As a community, we have much to be proud of and thankful for in the way of member contributions to the profession, both past and present.2 Journal of Computing in Teacher Education Volume 23 / Number 1 Fall 2006Copyright © 2006 ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 800.336.5191 (U.S. Canada) or 541.302.3777 (Int’l),,