Technology Literate Students Discussion from LTM 7008 at NCU - Evaluating Technology in Education

The traditional educational classroom of the early and mid 20th century was inherently limited to space and available time allotted to teach students. Technology opens opportunities to extend the classroom beyond these limitations and ready students for the 21st century. Global technology capabilities are expanding faster with each year. The United States must ensure educational opportunities are required for all students to achieve technology competence through initiatives that support states in setting and assessing technology standards and promoting technology literacy of students by the 8th grade.

Technology changes occur very rapidly and the ability for the students of today to compete on a worldwide basis requires technology literacy standards to be set for all students and particularly for students who have reached the 8th grade level. The “Did You Know” video posted on the home page illustrated the technology issues of today and highlighted the rapid changes that have occurred in technology. Setting standards and assessing the level of technology competence of students is critical to their success in today’s competitive environment. Technology literacy is one way to support student success for the future. Technology literacy, as defined by the Technology Literacy Assessment Work Group of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), is “the ability to responsibly use appropriate technology to communicate, solve problems, and access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information to improve learning in all subject areas and to acquire lifelong knowledge and skills in the 21st Century” (http://www.setda.org/toolkit/nlitoolkit/tla/tla01.htm).

Initiatives on a national and statewide level need to occur to support the development of standards for all students from pre-school through graduation. Assessment of technology literacy needs to occur to determine how well students are meeting the standards. Milestone assessment needs to occur at the 8th grade level and again upon graduation from secondary schools. Several tools exist to measure the level of technology literacy achieved by students. Based on a contextual framework for technology literacy, a rubric with performance indicators and associated with the skills that comprise technology literacy was developed by a SETDA work group (http://www.setda.org/toolkit/nlitoolkit/tla/tla03.htm) The focus of achievement needs to include assessments that measure achievement based on the knowledge, performance, portfolios and projects of students. (http://www.setda.org/toolkit/nlitoolkit/tla/tla05.htm)

Technology literacy is one key to the future success of the United States and to educating students to be competent to compete in the 21st century work environment. Individual states must support technology literacy. “The long-term goal of technology literacy is for students to use the tools of their society with skill; in an ethical, accurate, and insightful manner to meet the demands of the 21st Century workplace” (http://www.setda.org/toolkit/nlitoolkit/tla/tla02.htm).