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6320 81 Fall 2008 Article 2 Summaries

Page history last edited by Paola Villalon-Perezsandi 12 years, 2 months ago

Ely, D. P. (2002). Trends in educational technology: Fifth edition. Department of Education: Washington, DC. ERIC document ED 477 511


Please select the chapter you want to summarize and add your name below the trend after the word "by."  This will be the chapter you are assigned to summarize. 


Chapter Assignments below:



Trend 1: Computer Access and Use

by Noel Escobar


In the article Ch 2 Computer Access and Use we get a sense that in k-12 schools computer access is close 100%.   The most current data state approx. 3.6 students per computer.  Going on to the college and university level we are not quite as lucky.  At the college and university level we have a “moderate saturation”.  An interesting finding came form university students.  Who when polled reported approx ¾ own a computer.  According to the article most students have access to a computer.   The article does mention access to a computer is fairly loosely defined for schools.  If a student can pass closely to a computer, that is enough to be considered computer access. Or so it seems due to the lack of definition Needless to say the author suggests a stricter definition.   Many students use computers for schoolwork both in class and for homework. 

My experience in working in the RGV is that few have access to a computer and when they do it may not be functioning properly.    Further many students do not know how to use the needed programs or even type.  So for me even if every student had a computer it would be useless without proper instruction on how to use it.


Trend 2: Internet Access and Use 

 by Kelly Escobar


“Trend 2: The Internet has become a major source of information for students and teachers. In higher education, the use of the Internet to deliver instruction has been steadily growing.”


The author states that it is the job of educational technologists to ensure that the Internet is used effectively in the classroom. The author describes the use of the Internet as a communication tool between students, teachers, and experts and that this expanded communication has helped to increase distance learning. Next, the author gives statistics from internet access studies conducted in 2001 by the National Center for Educational Statistics and Quality Education Data that show internet access has roughly doubled between 1994 and 2000 in elementary and secondary schools. The author next cites statistics from the Pew Internet and American Life project from 2001 which shows the internet is used for school research, projects, and reports and school and class websites. The author then cites another statistic from the Quality Education Data study that compares internet usage by teachers between 1999 and 2000. It shows increased internet usage in the areas of evaluating curriculum material, research, and as a presentation tool and decreased internet usage in the areas of e-mail/communication, professional development, and lesson planning.


In the next part of the chapter the author discusses internet usage in colleges and universities. The author finds from various cited studies that while internet usage has increased as a communication and research tool, its use as a teaching tool has leveled off. Next the author points out some possible roadblocks for internet and technology use including a lack of financial and technical staff resources. Lastly the author points out an increase in the request and need for “learner-centered education” and the related development of teaching and learning support centers on campuses which will facilitate this transformation.



Trend 3: Television and Video  

 by Stephanie Johnson


Trend 3:

“Video materials are increasingly being delivered by a variety of distribution systems, such as video streaming on the Web, video conferencing, synchronous teaching and learning by closed circuit, broadcast and satellite television systems.  Use of video in the classroom and independent study spaces has leveled off.”




     The author begins by noting that television use in classrooms has leveled off, probably due to widespread access: just about everybody has it.  The author then continues to define and elaborate upon the video delivery systems and applications current to education.


     Video streaming is becoming more popular with educators technologically-savvy enough to use it, but the author notes that they are unable to quantify its use.  It is included in the list of video delivery systems due to its increased use on web sites, either in providing basic illustrations of material, or as site “window dressing”.


     The extent of video conferencing is also difficult to estimate.  This term includes synchronous communication between two individuals in remote locations, or courses delivered synchronously from a specific location to multiple learning sites.  The author includes broadcast television and its extension, cable television, in this category. 


     The author notes the importance of complete courses available via video recordings, which were usually distributed on broadcast or cable television first, although they are rarely interactive.  Sometimes the learner can obtain assistance via phone or email.


     Cable in the Classroom provides free cable television to schools which contains commercial-free programming.  These programs also include teachers’ guides which are available at no cost.


     The Corporation for Public Broadcasting noted in a 1997 study that 98% of teachers had access to television and video in their schools, using television in their classrooms an average of 88 minutes per week.  Satellite capabilities doubled between 1991 and 1997.


     Teachers who have both television and computers in their classrooms utilize both resources: ¼ say their TV and video use increased with use of computers.  Public television is incorporating web sites to supplement material presented via television.


     The author notes that video is an “active player” in distance education, with the most frequently used distance education media as follows:

Asynchronous web sites- 58%

Interactive video- 54%

Prerecorded video- 54%

Sometimes they are used in combination to increase effectiveness and decrease boredom.



Trend 4: Advocacy 

 by Emily Moore


Summary: The late 1900’s to the early 2000’s saw a significant increase in support for educational technology, from technical specialists and hardware/software suppliers to a wider sphere that included government, private industry, and educators. This trend toward increased support has served to legitimize the movement toward technology in schools and higher education.  Support for technology during this period was not, however, unrestricted, with notable cautions and reservations issuing from teachers unions.


Governmental advocacy.  In terms of policy (but perhaps less in terms of financial support), both the federal government and individual states were on board big-time by the early 2000s. Examples:


  • A 2000 U.S. Department of Education report, eLearning: Putting a World-Class Education at the Fingertips of All Children, outlines a national strategy for primary and secondary schools with enormously ambitious goals, including “All students and teachers will have access to IT in their classrooms, schools, communities, and homes” and Digital content and networked applications will transform teaching and learning.”
  • Also in 2000, the Web-based Education Commission released a report that recommended making new Internet resources “…available and affordable for all learners” and urging legislators to“…revise outdated regulations that impede innovation.”
  • According to the U.S. Department of Education, funding for educational technology between 1995 and 2000 weighed in at over $8 billion.
  • Individual governors began spearheading state-funded technology initiatives such as the Western Governors’ University as early as 1990.


Business/industry advocacy. Industries that stand to benefit from learning/teaching technology (such as software/hardware providers) have been on board from the beginning. The CEO Forum on Education and Technology, for example, concluded its 4-year study with a list of recommendations that included “Focus educational technology investment on specific educational objectives.”  But the late 1990s also saw a rise in advocacy from the broader industrial sector as more and more companies began to realize the dollars-and-sense benefit of a technologically competent workforce.


National teaching organizations’ advocacyAdvocacy by teaching organizations, too, rose during the late 1900’s—although the support voiced wasn’t unequivocal:


  • In a 2001 report titled Distance Education: Guidelines for Good Practice, prepared by the American Federation of Teachers, the emphasis is on standards and flexibility—as well as on union involvement. In the report, faculty were urged to “retain academic control.”


  • A cautious approach was similarly urged by Thomas J. Kriger who, in an article written for the American Federation of Teachers, noted that  “Much of the distance education…whether nonprofit or for-profit, is built on ideas drawn from the corporate sector about consumer focus, product standardization, tight personnel control, and cost effectiveness (that is, to maximize course taking while minimizing the 'inputs' of faculty and development time.)"


  • A 1999 report jointly sponsored by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers expressed skepticism regarding the effectives of distance education compared with traditional higher education. 


  • In 2000, the National Education Association adopted a resolution titled “Technology in the Educational Process,” which called for uniform access to high-quality instructional technology for all educators and their students and the training or educators to make effective use of those resources. But just one year later, in 2001, none of the major resolutions adopted by the organization specifically addressed educational technology.

Trend 5: Home Use and Distance Education  

 by Margo Salas

The home has become the place where technology is often being utilized for varying reasons; such as, school aged children doing their homework, children being home schooled, adults taking online courses or senior citizens seeking information from the internet. The number of homes in the United States that own computers and are connected to the internet has grown rapidly. The author states that in 2001 there were two reports that were published that provided a statistic that over 50% of households in the United States own at least one computer and the majority of these computers are connected to the internet. Another statistic was that about 90% of school aged children have access to a computer whether it is in school or at home or even both and 65% of all children between the ages of 3 to 17 years old live in a house that owns a computer. As the children get older the percentage increases; for instance, about 73 % of middle and high school students have a computer at home connected to the internet. Another statistic was that there are about 86% of home school households that own a computer and are connected to the internet for research or searching for general information. As a result, there has also been an increase in the number of software programs being designed specifically for home school learners. On the other hand, another statistic was that about 15% of senior citizens use the internet. From the 15%, 69% of the senior citizens use the internet on a daily basis, and 60% of these senior citizens are financially well-off and well-educated men. Distance education has also been growing rapidly, and the home seems to be the preferred base for online learning. The author states even though distance education seems to be popular and rapidly growing it has been confronted with serious cautions. Some of the concerns about distance education are that it’s built on ideas drawn from the corporate sector about consumer focus, product standardization, tight personnel control and cost effectiveness by maximizing course taking while minimizing the "inputs" of faculty and development time.

Trend 6: New Delivery Systems  

 by Jesse Candanoza


Wireless connectivity could be depicted as communications between computers with no connecting wires or by smaller devices such as telephones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) etc.  Garage door openers and television remotes are precursors to the current wave of wireless devices.


Some of the functions that enable wireless communications are terminal mobility, personal mobility, and service portability.  Some of the more popular wireless systems include many different instruments such as paging systems, telephone systems and satellite systems.  These in turn are enhanced by other handheld devices used in educational settings like calculators.  The author identifies the graphing calculator and hand held computers as prime candidates to be in widespread usage in the future.


As an example of where technology could be in 10 years after this 2001 article, the author cites examples of where technology was at 10 years before.  In 1991 there were no sound cards in PCs, modems were still running at 2400 baud and were usually external, the Internet was accessible to specialized government and educational departments only, and the World Wide Web hadn’t been invented.


 At that point in time, laptop computers were starting to make headway into becoming part of everyday usage.  Many universities were starting to provide laptops to their faculty and reported a 10% coverage of  their campuses (currently 100% at most universities).


The author concludes this chapter by stating that perhaps laptops may not become as common as hand-held calculators and although these wireless devices may someday become so common as to replace desktop computers, further research is still needed to decide their role in society.

Trend 7: Professional Development for Teachers  

 by Paola Villalon-Perezsandi


Educational institutes are now realizing the importance of software and hardware trainings so that teachers can feel comfortable using these new technologies. Once teachers feel comfortable, they can better employ the hardware and software in a more creative and effective way for learning. Nowadays, more and more technology is making its way into the classroom where nearly 80% of classrooms in 2001, had classroom computers wired to the Internet. Technology is an important part of educational reform and it will remain so, if and when the curriculum goals and objectives are being achieved. Allowing funding for professional developments to continue.

Trend 8: Education Reform 

 by Martín Perna


This chapter discusses the growing trend in high schools and universities to adopt instructional technology as a vehicle for education reform. The author outlines a brief history of educational technology, and outlines factors which have contributed to its recent rapid growth.


Ely gives us a brief history of educational technology, beginning in 1913, with a quote from Thomas Edison who prophesied incorrectly that books would be eliminated within ten years and that all learning would be done with motion picture. While that was not correct, new forms of  technology, found their place in US classrooms from the 1950s through the 1980s.


Ely notes 1995 as a watershed moment in educational technology, following a US Department of Education conference paper which launched the establishment of five regional technology centers (R*TECs) around the country. This number doubled to 10 centers nationwide in 2000. These centers served to catalyze, train, and develop the growth of educational technology and information resources at the state and county levels. By 2000, each US state had formed an office or agency to deal specifically with technology issues.


Ely states that more and more reputable high schools and institutions are using instructional technology than ever. High schools and colleges are using it for distance education and to accomodate increasing numbers of students. He states that while 90% of teachers  have not worked with technology, 60% of those would be interested in trying. This data demonstrates a marked acceptance and willingness on the part of instructors to fuse their teaching skills and curricula with technology.


Finally, Ely  reminds us to continue to look at technology critically.  Technology can only be the answer, when we know exactly what questions we are attempting to answer. He notes that good technology can never replace or make up for bad teaching, and that while technology can facilitate and enhance education, it must be done in a critical manner.



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