EDTC 6320 - Patricia Perez - Trend 8 Summary


Trend 8: Educational Reform


There are an increasing number of reputable organizations clamouring for educational reform to occur through the use of instructional technology. As technology has been able to fix many of the problems in the business environment, people are looking to technology to solve some of educations' problems, such as over-crowding and limitations of resources. The problem arises when we ask ourselves, "What is the real problem behind our educational system?" One cannot fix something that has not been identified. Over the last one hundred years there have been discoveries and developments which seemed to have the potential to revolutionize the educational environment. Even though, at every step of the way there has been a strong resistance to change. As far back as 1913, Thomas Edison believed that books were on their way out and that people would learn by watching motion pictures. As new technologies began to make their way into the classroom, there was a renewed confidence in the integration of technology. In 1995 the U. S. Department of Education (DOE) setup Regional Technology Centers (R*TECs), in order to assist the educational institutions of the nation. It wasn't until 2000 that change really began to take root with the realignment of the U. S. DOE's R*TECs. Educational institutions either had a technology plan or began planning it. It was through the U.S. DOE's leadership that the shift from traditional to technology-infused instruction began to take shape. 2000 was also when the US DOE stopped asking if it was beneficial to include technology and began asking which technology would be more effective. A study conducted in 2001 showed that even though ninety percent of educators had not been exposed to on-line teaching, sixty percent were willing to give it a try.