Education

Creating an Online Education Culture

By Sterling C. Lloyd — April 20, 2007 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Unforgiving. Challenging. Competitive. These are all words frequently used by policy writers describing the global economy (“Living Off Past Investments,” Jan. 10, 2007). The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) illustrated the theme of economic competition when it launched the State New Economy Index (SNEI). The SNEI assesses states’ responses to economic transformation resulting from rapid technological change, increased economic competition, and globalization, among other factors. It selected the following quotation by Charles Darwin as an epigraph for its series of reports on the topic: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.”

This Stat of the Week focuses on the response of state education systems to one of the key changes influencing the development of today’s economy: the Internet. To assess state policymakers’ efforts to incorporate online tools into teaching and learning, the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center created an index comprised of five state technology policy indicators related to the Internet: (1) the establishment of a virtual school; (2) the existence of online cyber charter schools; (3) the availability of online professional development for teachers; (4) the ability of teachers to access collections of online resources for various academic areas; and (5) the availability of subscription services offering materials such as e-journals for teachers. Taken together, these indicators suggest the extent to which states have created an online culture for students and teachers.

The index allocates one point for each of the five policies a state has enacted or put into place. Information on state policies was collected through the EPE Research Center’s annual state technology survey and can be found in Technology Counts 2007 or accompanying online state technology reports. The map below illustrates the range of online technology scores.

State Online Index Scores

Stat of the Week

Copyright 2007 EPE Research Center

Florida and South Dakota lead the pack with a perfect score of five. At the other end of the continuum, three states (Montana, Nebraska, and Rhode Island) and the District of Columbia received a score of zero.

Technology in schools is just one of the 21 indicators used in the updated 2002 New Economy Index and found in the 2002 State New Economy Index report. The report’s author takes pains to note that the New Economy is not just about the Internet and emphasizes that it is critically important for states to have a workforce with technological skills and the ability to innovate. The PPI report notes the vital role of e-commerce, information technology and other technology-related elements of our current economic and financial system. In addition, it describes the need for more traditional industries and economic sectors to adapt to new technology. Workers involved in such fields as manufacturing and agriculture will need to use technology in order to be efficient and competitive. As Robert D. Atkinson, the report’s author, asserts, “states’ economic success will increasingly be determined by how effectively they can spur home-grown technological innovation and entrepreneurship.”

State education systems will need to produce students who are familiar with technology and competent in its uses. States that have implemented the policies included in the online technology score are providing opportunities to integrate the Internet into the educational experience. These states may be one step ahead when it comes to competing in a global marketplace increasingly characterized by rapid technological change.

For more information on state technology policies, see Technology Counts 2007 or the Education Counts database.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
From Chaos to Clarity: How to Master EdTech Management and Future-Proof Your Evaluation Processes
The road to a thriving educational technology environment is paved with planning, collaboration, and effective evaluation.
Content provided by Instructure
Special Education Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table - Special Education: Proven Interventions for Academic Success
Special education should be a launchpad, not a label. Join the conversation on how schools can better support ALL students.
Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: May 29, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 8, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 20, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read