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'Technologically Enhanced' Schools State Chiefs' Goal

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The Council of Chief State School Officers has adopted a plan designed to help it develop a "technologically enhanced 'vision' of restructured schools."

The plan, adopted at the Council's annual meeting in Indianapolis last month, grew out of discussions held in late September at the group's Third National Conference on Educational Technology.

At that Charlotte, N.C., meeting, members emphasized encouraging the development and use of technology in the classroom through partnerships between state and federal policymakers as well as between educators and private-sector developers. (See Education Week, Oct. 5, 1988).

"I think it's going back and calling on some things that we've done in the past to give new direction and new emphasis to the role of technology in education," George Rush, the ccsso's manager of technical and information systems, said in describing the plan.

The list of recommendations adopted includes the following:

That the chiefs investigate methods of coordinating research and development "to avoid duplication of efforts," and perhaps establish a clearinghouse to facilitate such exchanges between states.

That the council pursue the possibility of interstate teacher certification and course accreditation, which would be especially8beneficial to the field of "distance learning."

That the states review legislation governing technology to ensure that they are encouraging "experimentation and innovation" by districts, schools, and teachers.

That the federal government underwrite research in educational technologies and encourage the transfer of that research "to the K-12 education enterprise."

That the federal government consider establishing an agency to oversee the coordination of its policies on technology and to disseminate research data.

Other Efforts

James A. Mecklenburger, director of the National School Boards Association's Institute for the Transfer of Technology to Education, said in that group's October newsletter that the chiefs' actions in the field were especially encouraging when viewed in conjunction with other recent policy developments.

The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment this fall released "Power On! New Tools for Teaching and Learning," a study of educational technology that encouraged a larger federal role in research. And, later, the U.S. Education Department awarded more than $19 million in grant money to develop demonstration projects in distance learning.--pw

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