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Education Week Technology Report Cites Lack of Data

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With spending on educational technology expected to top $5 billion this school year, the need for accurate data on its effectiveness is more pressing than ever, according to an Education Week special report to be published next week.

The 96-page report, Technology Counts: Schools and Reform in the Information Age, which will appear as a special Nov. 10 issue of the newspaper, examines technology's increasing importance as an instructional tool, an administrative resource, and a means of involving the public in education. The need for more teacher training and the role of state legislatures in fostering technology also are addressed.

Technology Counts finds that many policymakers and administrators are making decisions about technology on the basis of anecdotal evidence and intuition.

That's because there is a lack of data--comparable state-by-state data in particular--on even the most basic questions of the amount of technology already in the schools and the ways it is used, the report says. In addition, research on whether technology improves student achievement has produced little hard evidence.

Building Momentum

Still, a consensus is growing that educational technology is a powerful means of aiding school reform. Technology holds great promise to increase exploratory learning, empower teachers, and better equip administrators, according to the report.

The report concludes with a summary of each state's policy efforts in the area of school technology.

Technology Counts is intended to serve as a foundation for a series of annual reports that will continue to chart the state of school technology across the nation.

The Milken Exchange on Education Technology, an initiative of the Milken Family Foundation of Santa Monica, Calif., provided funding for the report. Founded earlier this year, the Milken Exchange is a network of educators, public officials, and business leaders seeking to advance technology in the nation's classrooms.

Education Week subscribers will receive Technology Counts, followed by the Nov. 12 issue as regularly scheduled.

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