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Classroom Technology: Who are the State Leaders?

Mar 31 2011

Technology in the Classroom

The more technology is developing in our country, the more parents, teachers, and administrators are concerned about making sure that students understand how to use it. Schools are now integrating technology into the curriculum This can involve training in the use of computers, navigating the internet, and exposure to virtual classrooms. These schools also make options available such as career assessment tools, postsecondary education courses, AP testing aides, or credit recovery.

The standards used to determine the scores of each state were divided into two groups: capacity and use. The capacity a state has was determined by how adequately trained the teachers and administrators are, whether their initial license requires technology courses, and if it requires ongoing technology training or testing as a part of relicensing. The use of a state was determined by whether a state has a standard requiring technology education, tests students on technology, establishes virtual schools, and establishes computer-based assessments.

Surprisingly, most of the highly integrated states are located in the Southeast. They also offer the most additional options such as state standards for technology education, required technology courses, virtual schools, and computer based assessments. These states are some of the most economically depressed, and yet, they offer students the most in technology education.

New England was only average in their technology leadership scores and offered only a few of the options that the Southeast offered. New England, however, is the most economically healthy region in the union. Many of these states offered only state standards and computer-based assessments.

The three lowest scoring states were Montana, Nevada, and the District of Columbia. Montana is one of the more prosperous states in the unions though, just as with the case of New England. The District of Columbia failed outrightly. While the District of Columbia is only a province, they are still equipped with federal funding and school systems.

The mention of the economic stability of the region is to demonstrate that these statistics do not align with the assumption that economic stability ensures technology advances within school systems. These schools offer nothing more than a state standard and in all three cases they failed in their ability to provide the capacity for technology education. That means that students had barely any education in technology presented to them during their federally funded education.

The importance of training students in technology in preparation for their future cannot be stressed enough. Whether it’s providing them with the opportunity to take a simple job aptitude test or give them college credit through virtual classrooms, students need the chance to grow with technology. Yet, it’s surprising exactly where these students would have to go in order to gain the most technologically advanced education. States such as West Virginia, Georgia, and South Dakota are some of the last states that people would think of. Yet, some of the states that people would expect great technology opportunities from such as Vermont, California, or Connecticut are providing only average scores.