Friday, June 04, 2004

NETS

Technology is the way of the future. Our children will be required to attain computer and technology skills in order to live productive lives in their society. The technology requirements as outlined on the website for students, teachers, and administrators seems extremely comprehensive. However, our children must complete their high school career with those skills, or they will be disadvantaged in college or in a chosen career. In order for our students to attain the skills needed, the teachers and administrators must adhere to the expectations outlined.

The standards for the student are explicit. Students are expected to possess skills in basic operations and concepts, social, ethical, and human relations. Students must also be able to use technology as production, communication, and research tools. The most difficult skill a student must possess is the ability to solve problems and make decisions using technology tools.

In order for our students to complete high school with the above mentioned skills, all teachers will need to meet the expected standards and implement lesson plans that will provide the students with the opportunity to enhance their technology skills. As outlined in the standards, teachers must possess a sound understanding of technology and concepts. Lesson plans and design will need to implement a technological conducive learning environment. Curriculum and assessments will also need to be used in order to encourage student growth in the area of technology. Teachers must enhance their own productivity through practice and professional development. If teachers are expected to convey to the students the importance of the social, ethical, legal, and humanities of technology, they must understand those areas as well. Unfortunately, most teachers do not possess the technology skills outlined in the state and national standards. With the additional professional development days added by the state legislature, perhaps teachers will be given additional in-service training specifically in the area of technology.

Technology responsibility does not stop with the teacher and student in the classroom, administrators also play a very important role in our students reaching the technology standards by graduation. Administrators are the leaders in the school, and one of their expectations is to inspire vision for the comprehensive integration of technology. Ensuring the curricular design and instruction strategies of the learning environment integrate the appropriate technology is yet another important job for the school administration. Just as teachers must apply technology and practice the use of the technology so must the administrator. Administrators must also support technology of a productive system and remain current with social, ethical, and legal understanding of the use technology.

If all schools can meet the standards adopted by the state for the expectations of technology, our students will be prepared for life after high school. However, all parties must acknowledge the standards expected and possess the drive to reach those standards in order for the students to reach their full potential. Business teachers alone can not enable students to meet the expectations. Just as writing across the curriculum has been adopted by many schools, technology across the curriculum will also have to be adopted to ensure the success of our students.

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