Not so long ago, when we would talk here about the role technology plays in global competition, the conversation tended to have an abstract, high-minded feeling.
Not anymore. The tenor of those conversations is now very concrete and in your face, evoking a sense of urgency I have never before witnessed in my adult life.
Technology’s role in global competition is now a daily obsession of mine, and I talk about it with anyone who will engage in a conversation, including my children.
Recently, I sat at my kitchen table talking to my two teenage sons about this issue while my youngest boy, a 5th grader, listened intently on the outskirts. Competition from China dominated the discussion.
So, toward the end of the conversation, my 5th grader finally spoke up and asked: “Hey Dad, are we going to have to move to China?”
I told him I hoped that would not be the case, but half-jokingly said that studying the Chinese language might not be a bad idea.
My point is that technology’s role in global competition is now staring right in the face of a 5th grader, showing that the role of ed tech is more important than ever.
That is why the cover story for this issue, “Tech Literacy Confusion: What Should You Measure?,” is a must read for anyone who truly cares about the evolution of educational technology.
The federal government is now working on developing a technology literacy assessment it says is needed for the nation to understand U.S. students’ ability to compete in a global marketplace and to keep pace with quickly evolving technology.
I hope it approaches this task with a sense of urgency and clarity, because to do otherwise would have unfortunate consequences.
A version of this article appeared in the January 21, 2009 edition of Digital Directions as A Sense of Urgency and Clarity