Throughout history, we learned that for instructional technology to succeed, on-going collaboration is required among national, state, and local educational organizations. Many technological advancements have been created, such as, CAI applications, audiovisual libraries, microcomputer drill and practice programs, etc., to hopefully benefit our educational techniques and student progress. These were dismissed or fizzled out faster than they could be properly implemented. Most failed due to lack of teacher enthusiasm and proven educational need. This history is unacceptable for our students.
The US military’s proven success of using technology for a teaching medium is a model for successful technology integration on state and national levels. According to Reiser, (2001) military trainers expressed satisfaction with training films utilized during World War 1. The military defined the immediate crisis, and after the proper collaboration, used the appropriate technology to solve the problem.
I propose that our educational system should take this same approach. Our National Educational Technology Standards(Nets) focuses on infusion of technology in order to create, problem solve, and collaborate. Our state standards focus upon this same need. Our local administrators’ goal is to raise student test scores in order to comply with state accountability. Further collaboration is beneficial to define the exact goal of the state and require implementation by local districts of appropriate technology encouraging that specific goal. For example, integrating technology for global communication, real world problem solving, and creation and expression will naturally allow students to think and express themselves and enhance their performance on standardized testing. It would be far better to define our goals as educators and work together toward its achievement, such as the military demonstrated to us in my previous example. Change is needed; however, unity in our goal is the determining factor for success.
Reiser, R.A. (2001). A History of Instructional Design and Technology: Part I: A History of Instructional Media. Educational Technology Research and Development, 49 (1), 53-64.