ISTE Wish List

The International Society for Technology in Education has released a wish (priority) list for 2011. Two of the items seem focused – dedicated funding for K12 technology (rather than assuming tech funding was available as a part of other authorizations) and universal access to broadband. Both priorities recognize present limitations. I also understand the target – these would seem requests regarding government priorities.

The third priority – education technology must permeate every corner of the teaching and learning process – is somewhat like saying we value what our organization was formed to support. I guess if it seems necessary to state the core mission of your organization – knock yourself out.

Preparing Teachers for Digital Age Learners Act (PTDAL) (mentioned as an example of dedicated funding) seems similar in mission to the series of PT3 programs (Preparing Tomorrows Teachers to Use Technology) of past years. For what is worth I thought the PT3 focus generated change in teacher preparation while the funds were available.

The controversy regarding whether it is best to focus on the specific area you want to develop or to assume this same area will be developed when flexible money is provided is interesting. I think an implicit argument here might be expressed as “if they thought it was valuable they would spend money in the way you suggest”. It is somewhat like the government saying to ISTE – we gave schools money to improve education, it is your job to convince schools to spend this money on technology and the development of teacher skills in helping students use technology as learners. It admit that there is a certain logic in the government taking this position. The problem, if you are a tech advocate, is that the logic just does not seem to work to change practice. What does this mean?

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