NETC Circuit ~ Spring 1997The Newsletter of the Northwest Educational Technology Consortium
at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
- Web Page Offers Tips on Assuring Equity in Educational Technology Use
- NETC Web site: Your Handy Directory of Helpful Resources on Educational Technology Challenges and Opportunities
- Web sites of NETC Partners Highlight Technology Issues
- Two Reports Look at Technology in Preservice Education
- Books for Summer
- Periodicals to Ponder
- The More Things Change...
- About Circuit
Web Page Offers Tips on Assuring Equity in Educational Technology Use
Our focus in this issue of the Circuit is one close to home for us: NETC's own Web site. But this information-and-idea-rich resource can be just as close to home for you. Just dial into your online service and go to http://www.netc.org/. Be sure to bookmark the page and check back often. The site is a "work in progress," so you never know what helpful addition you'll find on your next visit.
We've highlighted many of our Web site features in these pages, but with so much to choose from online, you may well wonder where to start. One excellent place is the "Equity in Educational Technology" section.
Produced in collaboration with the Center for National Origin, Race, and Sex Equity (CNORSE), which is located at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL), this section provides a set of tools to help schools and districts recognize inequities in their use of technology and plan for appropriate changes.
The author of the work, Barbara Warren-Sams, states the critical importance of the equity challenge: "In our society, the gap between those who know how to use technology and those who don't is increasing at a cost to both individuals and society...Because technology plays such a large role in modern society, all students need ample opportunities to learn how to use and enjoy it." The site provides self-assessment tests in three areas: access, type of use, and curriculum. Numerous strategies are offered for correcting inequities in each of these areas, as well as a sample school equity plan and sample forms to assist in measuring how well the educational technology needs of various student groups are being met. A resource list, bibliography, and a guide to equity-in-educational-technology terminology round out the offerings.
We are looking for additional ideas and suggestions to include in the equity section of the Web site, so if you have some thoughts on this topic, please let us know. (See NETC contact information.) And if you are currently without Web access, please note that a printed version of the equity material is being developed and will be available in late spring.
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NETC Web site: Your Handy Directory of Helpful Resources on Educational Technology Challenges and Opportunities
What would you like to know about the ever-evolving educational technology field? Chances are, you'll find answers-or a path to some answers-at the NETC Web site.[Return to Top]
Here, and in other articles included in this issue of the Circuit, we can only hope to do what a good travel brochure does: capture the ambience of a place well enough that readers will choose to make the initial journey. Our descriptions are illustrative rather than comprehensive. To fully appreciate the NETC Web site, please accept our invitation to climb aboard your mouse and go!
When you arrive at the site, you'll find both home-grown content (e.g., a NETC mission statement, past issues of the Circuit, and conference presentations from NETC staff) and links-just click and you're there-to content from other organizations and agencies involved in educational technology issues. Sometimes you'll find both home-grown and linked information in the same section. For example, a section on technology plans, included in the "Hot Topics" portion of the site, includes answers to frequently asked questions about such plans; links to plans produced by Northwest schools, school districts and states; and links to information focused on technology plans and the planning process. Also included in this section are links to "acceptable use" policies, designed to encourage appropriate online use in schools.
Under "Hot Topics," you'll find a wide array of other subjects, selected because of their current relevance to the educational technology field. (Be sure to check back often for newly added content.) We've selected two of the current "Hot Topics" to feature in separate articles (pages 1 and 4) of this issue. Other examples include information on the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund; a directory of distance-education technology resources; links to Internet sites with information on funding for educational programs; conference presentations on such topics as "Assessment and Evaluation of Technology in Schools" and "Internet Basics: Tips, Tricks and Search Strategies"; brief descriptions of past NETC satellite teleconferences for educators; links to clearinghouses that offer guidance in picking educational software; tips for Web site developers; links to information about NetDay 2000; and links to sites moderated by teachers as part of NETC's Web Moderator's Pilot Project (e.g., a Web site maker's novice site, a "kid lit" site, and a gifted-education site).
Links to the Web sites of the seven NETC consortium partners, located in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming (see Web sites of NETC Partners Highlight Technology Issues), provide a means to examine how educational technology issues are being considered and addressed throughout NETC's own region. And you can move on to examine what's happening around the country by following links to NETC's five fellow R-TECs (Regional Education in Technology Consortia members), operating in the Southwestern, North Central, South Central, Northeastern, and Southeastern parts of the United States.
Like the field it covers, the NETC Web site will speedily evolve as new questions are asked, new concerns are voiced, and new educational technologies are made available. Remember: You are an important part of this process. As NETC staff speak with you at conferences, read your e-mail messages, and hear your tips on new resources to explore, they will update the site to reflect the expanding knowledge base that you help to make possible.
Web Sites of NETC Partners Highlight Technology Issues[Return to Top]
Not surprisingly, the Web sites of all seven NETC consortium partners address educational technology topics. Here are examples of what you'll find if you follow the link to "Consortium Members" on the NETC main page (or if you link directly by using the URLs we include here) :
The Alaska Department Of Education site has information on technology content standards for Alaska students; approaches taken to meeting educational technology needs in the Juneau, Kenai Peninsula, and Anchorage School Districts; and a report on a 1995 survey of educational technology use in Alaska.
The Idaho Department Of Education site includes Connections: A Statewide Plan for Technology in Idaho Public Schools.
At the Montana Office Of Public Instruction site is a set of goals aimed at effective integration of media "throughout the curriculum."
In addition to the 1997 Oregon Educational Technology Plan, the Oregon Department Of Education site includes links to a variety of educational technology resources. A number of these are Oregon-based.
Among the educational technology features and links at the Washington Office Of Superintendent Of Public Instruction site are the Washington State Technology Plan for the K-12 Common School System, instructions for creating school home pages, and tips on developing an acceptable use policy for student and staff Internet access.
Educational Service District 101 (Spokane, WA) includes information about the district's Educational Technology Support Center, which "provides ongoing educator training, school district cost-benefit analysis, long-range planning, network planning, and videoconferencing, as well as distance learning access and other technical and programmatic support."
The Wyoming Department Of Education site includes a document that describes technology needs and technology planning goals for Wyoming schools.
Two Reports Look at Technology in Preservice Education
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How effectively are Northwest colleges and schools of education using technology in their preservice programs? What strategies offer hope for more effective use?
Two reports-linked from the "Hot Topics" section on the main NETC web page under the title "Preservice Teacher Education"-provide answers to these questions. The reports, both by Dr. Mary Queitzsch of the NETC staff, are A Planning Process for Creating Collaboration Among Deans and The Northwest Regional Profile: Integration of Technology in Preservice Teacher Education Programs.
In the first report, Mary describes how Northwest deans of education, with NETC's active encouragement, have collaborated in considering how well their programs integrate technology and how they can improve that integration.
The process, says Mary, began in 1995, when NETC asked three Northwest deans how it could best help Northwest colleges and schools of education meet a set of goals centered on better integration of technology. The deans responded with several suggestions, but one stood out with special clarity: "Let us get together and talk!" The deans explained that they seldom had the opportunity to meet and discuss a specific issue.
From that suggestion came two regional deans' forums that did much to facilitate information sharing and action on preservice technology education issues. Mary considers factors-such as establishing an informal atmosphere, carefully selecting topics, and employing keynote speakers to frame issues and synthesize forum discussions-that led to this success. She also describes how a private deans' listserv, housed and moderated at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, and a planning council, comprised of respected Northwest deans, have improved communication and collaboration among the 54 Northwest schools and colleges of education on technology issues.
In her second report, The Northwest Regional Profile, Mary reviews recent literature concerning preservice experience with technology integration. She identifies some of the challenges that have marked such experience, particularly as they are highlighted in answers to a survey that NETC sent last year to all four-year colleges and schools of education in the Northwest.
Commenting on the survey results, Mary notes "a wide range of schedules and techniques for measuring the technological preparedness of...preservice students. She also observes that "required education technology courses varied greatly from institution to institution....At least eight responding colleges provided Internet and e-mail access to their students....Four respondents indicated having technology standards that students must meet in order to graduate from their programs."
"In summary," Mary concludes, " the deans responding to this survey make two recommendations:
- Technology needs to be a pervasive part of how faculty teach.
- Preparation of preservice teachers to use and integrate technology in their future classrooms needs to be emphasized."
Books for Summer
As many schools wind down, it's time to think about the lazy days of summer. What better way to spend the time than catching up on some great reading?[Return to Top]
Gilder, George. (1992). Life after television. New York: W.W. Norton
This book looks at the transformation of media and American life as we move from television to interactive telecomputer technologies.
Heide, Ann, & Henderson, Dale. (1994). The technological classroom: a blueprint for success. Toronto: Trifolium Books
Written by two classroom teachers, this practical guide describes ways to put technology to work in the classroom gradually, economically, and with minimal stress.
Milone, Michael. (1996). Beyond bells and whistles: how to use technology to improve student learning. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators
This report is designed to help administrators make informed choices about classroom technology tailored to the needs of all students and teachers.
Moursund, David. (1996). Obtaining resources for technology in education: a how-to guide for writing proposals, forming partnerships, & raising funds. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education
This how-to book focuses on securing resources for educational technology in six major categories: competitive situations, noncompetitive situations, school-business partnerships, fund raising, entrepre neurship, and other resources.
Papert, Seymour. (1993). The children's machine: rethinking school in the age of the computer. New York: Basic Books
Seymour Papert, the designer of LOGO (a programming language for children), hopes to "provoke readers by confronting them with opportunities to change their minds about school as we know it and about computers as rigid machines."
Sandholtz, Judith Haymore, Ringstaff, Cathy, & Dwyer, David C. (1997). Teaching with technology: creating student-centered classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press
Based on a decade of Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) research in public school classrooms, this book is a practical account of how teachers transformed classroom practice with technology.
Schwartz, Edward. (1996). NetActivism: how citizens use the Internet. Sebastopol, CA: Songline Studios, O'Reilly & Associates
This book looks at the potential of the Internet at the grassroots level of politics, examining how to use telecommunications for community and political organizing and describing how advocacy groups—both right and left—are using the Internet to advance causes.
Stoll, Clifford. (1995). Silicon snake oil: second thoughts on the information highway. New York: Doubleday
The Internet promises a "global village," wherein we'll find universal education, entertainment, and knowledge. But does it deliver? The author considers that question in this thought-provoking book.
Periodicals to PonderTo extend your reading, across the school year, consider these magazines:[Return to Top]
Electronic Learning provides information on technology and how it is being used in our schools.
Learning and Leading with Technology focuses on the use of technology in the classroom and on educational technology planning and policy.
Media & Methods describes multimedia products, technologies, and programs for K-12 school districts.
Technology & Learning is written for K-12 school administrators, teachers, and technology coordinators seeking guidance in improving and expanding the use of technology in their schools and districts.
For comments or questions, contact:
800 547-6339, ext 565,
The More Things Change...
After 83 years, the main branch of my local library has had a facelift. After extensive renovation this stately marvel will be home to 1.5 million books, 17 miles of shelves, and 120 computer terminals. The Information Age comes to the information center! I find this very exciting, and a good metaphor for what is occurring in schools and libraries across our region.[Return to Top]
Eighty-three years ago, we looked to books and magazines for information. Today's classrooms and school libraries have a wealth of resources: CD-ROMs, videotapes, the Internet, magazines, and books.
My typical day is quite different than it was 20 years ago. I am as likely to find information online as I am in a reference book. I am still involved in a treasure hunt, but the map is much bigger.
To quote an old saw, the more things change, the more they stay the same. We may have access to more information sources, but the requisite "literacy" skills for using that information have not changed. Students still need to be able to access information effectively, evaluate information critically, and use information effectively.
A recent ERIC digest, Computer Skills for Information Problem Solving: Learning and Teaching Technology in Context (ERIC document ED 392 463) merges these literacy skills with the computer skills needed for 21st century citizens. And, yes, this item can be accessed in print, on microfiche, or online (http://www.ed.gov/databases/ ERIC_Digests/index/).
Amy Derby, the NETC Resource Librarian, welcomes comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
NETC CIRCUIT[Return to Top]
The newsletter of the Northwest Educational Technology Consortium at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
Executive Director: Dr. Ethel Simon-McWilliams
NETC Director: Dr. Seymour Hanfling
Editor: John Ferrell
Photography: Tony Kneidek
Desktop Publishing: Denise Crabtree
101 S.W. Main Street, Suite 500
Portland, OR 97204
Telephone (503) 275-9500, Ext. 658
NETC Toll Free Help Line: (800) 211-9435
Fax: (503) 275-0449
NETC Web Site: http://www.netc.org
State Department of Education: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming
Educational Service District 101, Spokane, Washington
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
The contents of this newsletter were developed under Grant No.R302A5009 from the U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $1,348,718. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and endorsement of the contents by the federal government should not be implied.