Does Technology Matter in Schools? ED Wants Your Opinion

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As part of an ongoing effort to assess the role of technology in education, the United States Department of Education (ED) has started seeking comments from those who work closely with it. Last week ED sent out a request for opinions from the public, looking to "hear your ideas on the integration of technology in education." We at THE Journal see this as a fantastic opportunity for educators and administrators to bolster federal support for ed tech and encourage all of our readers to participate.

ED has set up an online questionnaire for those who wish to participate in the process. Specifically, the department is looking for input on the following four questions:

  1. In what ways has technology improved the effectiveness of your classroom, school, or district?
  2. Based on your role (administrator, parent, teacher, student, entrepreneur, business leader), how have you used educational data to make better decisions or be more successful?
  3. In what ways can technology help us prepare our children for global competition and reach our goals of eliminating achievement gaps and having all students read and do math on grade level by 2014?
  4. What should be the federal government's role in supporting the use of technology in our educational system?

In light of the recently released ED-sponsored study in which education technology was shown to have little or no impact on educational outcomes, we consider input from educators, administrators, and IT professionals in education to be crucial.

The search for public comments, led by ED's Office of Educational Technology, is part of an overall effort to "explore specific actions to improve education outcomes through targeted applications of technology and to find a renewed perspective on the role of technology in education reform," according to a document on ED's website.

According to the site, "Our nation is at a turning point. We know that the world in which our education system was created--the industrial world of the 19th and early 20th centuries--no longer exists. Today we live in a technology-driven global marketplace where ideas and innovation outperform muscle and machine. In an age of digital content and global communications, we must build an education system that meets the new demands of our time. Technology can help us create schools where every child has the opportunity to succeed, while we work to close the achievement gap and address the economic and workforce needs of the future."

Let the U.S. Department of Education hear your success stories. Explain how technology improves the academic lives of your students and enriches their learning experiences. You can e-mail your responses to the questions above to edtech@ed.gov or fill out the questionnaire online.

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About the author: Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Have any additional questions? Want to share your story? Want to pass along a news tip? Contact Dave Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

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