ERIC Number: ED381152
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr-14
Technology Is the Answer! But What Was the Question?
Ely, Donald P.
This paper examines how, why, and by whom technology is being used in schools. Educational technology is defined as the systematic design and use of hardware and software to achieve specific objectives. Recent studies indicate that the most frequent location of computers in schools is in the administrative office; second is in the library media center and third in a computer lab. Computers are used mostly for word processing, followed by drill and practice and educational games. The following rationales for using computers in schools are identified: social, vocational, pedagogic, and catalytic. In the United States, the social and vocational rationales are dominant. Some studies show that computer-based programs in elementary education benefit only the highest scoring students and students taught by teachers most knowledgeable about the computer system being used; in colleges and universities only about 10 percent of the faculty use technology in the classroom. Factors that contributed to one elementary school's successful use of technology were: availability of computers in the classroom; support and sharing of resources; a supportive district and principal; a strong computer coordinator; early and thorough teacher training; and user-friendly systems. Conditions leading to successful implementation of technology in schools are: dissatisfaction with the status quo; knowledge and skills; resources; rewards and incentives; commitment; leadership; time; and participation. The following ideas should be considered: creating conditions for learners to become responsible for their own learning; helping learners use the right tools; how to "humanize" technology; and helping learners raise the "right" questions. (Contains 14 references.) (AEF)
Descriptors: Computer Uses in Education, Educational Games, Educational Research, Educational Technology, Elementary Education, Higher Education, Learning Resources Centers, Program Effectiveness, Program Implementation, School Libraries, Shared Resources and Services, Teacher Education, Use Studies, User Needs (Information)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: The James P. Curtis Distinguished Lecture, Capstone College of Education Society, University of Alabama (April 14, 1995).