Responding to Critics of
• In 1983, the federal report A Nation at Risk included a
recommendation that high school graduation requirements
include coverage of the “Five New Basics”—English,
mathematics, science, social studies, and computer
science. Regarding computer science, the Commission on
Educational Excellence, which authored the report,
specified that all high school graduates should “understand
the computer as an information, computation and
communication device; [be able to] use the computer in the
study of the other Basics and for personal and work-
related purposes; and understand the world of computers,
electronics, and related technologies” (National
Commission on Excellence
in Education, 1983).
Educational Technology Policies
Educational Technology Policies
A report by the Partnership for 21st Century
Skills advocates, “To cope with the
demands of the 21st century, people need
to know more than core subjects. They
need to know how to use their knowledge
and skills—by thinking critically, applying
knowledge to new situations, analyzing
information, comprehending new ideas,
communicating, collaborating, solving
problems, making decisions” (2003, p. 9).
• Costs are high to purchase and maintain technology in
the classrooms causing other enriching and essential
programs to be cut such as art, music, sciences, world
history, and hands-on vocational experiences.
Technology is being used in day-to-day activities such
as job searching and banking. In order to function
and advance in the 21st Century, one must be
digitally connected. “Therefore, raising the digital
inclusion by increasing the number of Americans
using technology tools of the digital age is a vitally
important national goal” (U.S. Department of
Commerce, 2000, pg. xv).
Technology offers no significant gains pertaining to
The authors in the article, Generation M, report that young people
are devoting 6 to 6 ½ hours a day to media!!!! (Foehr, 37).
• Gone are the days of learning facts, regurgitating information,
and asking questions of a small amount of producers. With the
new media literacies, students are surpassing school leaders and
teachers making schools falling further and further behind in
meeting student individual needs. Students are naturally asking
questions of themselves/other through participating, creating, and
developing skills on their own through a global network (Clinton,
• It is important the learner takes ownership in their learning and
experiences in order for media and methods to be effective.
Without student ownership, neither method nor media will
be as effective.
Response to Criticism #2 cont.
• While there are reports against technology
usage in the classroom, there are several to
refute it. The Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow
research found the new learning experiences:
• 1. required higher level thinking and problem
• 2. student attitudes were impacted;
• 3. teachers lectured less and changed their
teaching practices to include more cooperative
group work (Foehr 5).
Technology has no impact on student achievement.
Research gathered by The Center for Applied Research in
Educational Technology (CARET) clarifies the influence
technology has on student achievement and how it
prepares them for the workforce. In order to impact
student learning effectively, educators need to rethink
curriculum development and understand how to
effectively utilize technology by incorporating 21st
century skills such as collaboration, problem-solving, and
critical thinking while providing feedback throughout the
activities (Burchette, 2002).
Response to Criticism #3
In the e-Learning Report produced by the
Department of Education, three
recommendations were given.
1. improve preparation of teachers including
technology usage for effective teaching and
2. increase technology activities in the
professional development of teachers;
3. Improve real-time instructional support
Online courses are make “no significant difference.”
What about the Digital Divide?
• Not all students have equal access to technology and the know
how to use technology tools effectively. Even if each student did
have access at home, not all have an even playing field because
there are so many different types of technology. Once the
technology is in their hands, there are few who guide them in
using the technology properly teaching them how to evaluate
information, deciphering between commercial and
noncommercial information presented online.
• By providing a broad range of professional development to
teachers and offering online courses, rural students are provided
with opportunities and coursework as students in other settings
Response to Criticism #5
• Research conducted in Learning Effectiveness Online, found
students perform equally the same as traditional students and
faculty members felt learning outcomes were the same or
better (Swan, 2).
• Carol Twigg stated, “the biggest obstacle to innovation in
online learning is thinking things can or should be done in
traditional ways (Swan, 2).
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!!!!!
• Supports individualized instruction
• No time constraints or limitations
• Critical thinking and problem solving
• Supports self-motivation
• Community building (Swan, 9-14)
Find a Balance!!
Rather than dealing with each technology
in isolation, we would do better to take an
ecological approach, thinking about the
interrelationship among all of these
different communication technologies, the
cultural communities that grow up around
them, and the activities they support.
Media systems consist of communication
technologies and the social, cultural, legal,
political, and economic institutions,
practices, and protocols that shape and
surround them (Gitelman, 1999).
Campbell, J., Davidson, M., & Jonassen, D. (1994). Learning with media:
restructuring the debate. ETR&D, v. 42, no. 2, pgs, 31-39.
Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A., & Weigel, M. Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media Education for the 21st
century. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Cradler, J., Burchette, R., Freeman, M., & McNabb, M. (May 2002). How does technology influence student learning? International
Society for Technology Education, v. 9, no. 8, 46-56.
Culp, K., Honey, M., & Mandinach, E. (October 2003). A retrospective on twenty years of education technology policy. U.S. Department
of Education, Office of Educational Technology, 1-32.
Foehr, U., Rideout, V., & Roberts, D., Generation M: Media in the lives of 8-18 year olds. (March 2005).
A Kaiser Family Foundation Study.
National Commission on Excellence in Education. (April, 1983). A nation at risk. Available online at
Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2003). Learning for the 21st century. Washington, D.C.: Author
Available online at http://www.21stcenturyskills.org
Schacter, John. (1999). The impact of education technology on student achievement: What the most
current research has to say. The Milken Family Foundation, 1-12.
Swan, Karen. (2003). Learning effectiveness : what the research tells us. In J. In J. Bourne & J. C.
Moore (Eds) Elements of Quality Online Education, Practice and Direction. Needham, MA: Sloan
Center for Online Education, 13-45.