There is an interesting article at eSchool News that explains that the various states are “all over the map” when it comes to technology literacy.
Lawmakers who drafted NCLB wanted to make sure that all students were exposed to computers and the internet and understood how to use these tools at an early age, so they would be prepared for a society and a workforce that are increasingly driven by technology. But unlike the law’s mandates in the core curriculum areas, there are no testing requirements or accountability measures when it comes to ensuring technology literacy. Instead, states merely must certify that they are working to meet the law’s tech-literacy goals before receiving federal Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) funds.
Schools are doing the required testing in other areas but more and more we are seeing schools drop electives and in fact even other required matterial if it is not part of the testing requirement. It’s nor all bad news of corse. The eSchool News article does report on states and districts who are developing tests and trying to meet the standard. But it seems to me that where there is no testing there is little accountability and some students are missing out on important skills and knowledge.
I don’t think the answer to this is more courses on technology though. I think the answer is that we need to train teachers to use technology with their students as they teach other students. Just as students learn to become better readers while they use reading to learn so can they use technology to become more advanced in technology as they use it to learn (and perhaps to teach) other subjects. Something for schools of education to think about.