A National Perspective on Educational Technology
Presentation at COSN/CTO clinic Texas 28 June 2006 by Keith Krueger, CAE, CEO, CoSN

History Lesson: Recent Phases of Ed Tech in the US

Phase 1: 1995: wires and boxes -> creation of eRate
Phase 2: 2000: Professional Development for Teachers -> NCLB (requires 25% of every federal dollar on tech to be for professional development)
Phase 3: NOW – Leadership

US Policy context
1. concern that the US is not competitive
2. concern that our schools are not preparing our kids to be competitive in today’s global economy
3. growing sense that we are not preparing kids for the 21st century
4. focus on…

“The World is Flat” has reshaped the national debate in Washington
– of the ten forces that have flattened the world, technology is at the heart of many
– his call to action is “sputnik-like” for a focus on math and science at the national level

Investment in ICT leads to growth of GDP
– investment in ICT (information communications technologies) can give a competitive advantage in global markets
– in 18 OECD countries, there was a directly attributable increase in GDP correlated to investment in ICT

Competitiveness is the hot topic
– in Washington with STEM conversations, the “T” has been dropped out of many conversations

American Competitiveness Initiative
– the only major new initiative that relates to education proposed by the Bush Administration relating to education
– heavy emphasis on math in US dept of education
– focusing on job training programs
– no where does it talk about technology in schools: we are not part of that agenda (OR VISION)

PISA studies done around the world to look at how ready countries are for student achievement
– quote from OECD 2005
– “An effective use of ICT in schools can have an immediate positive impact on the students learning environments, for example by: creating more dynamic….”

There is very little data about Internet in schools in this PISA study
– in all 30 countries that have data, when you look at homes that have a computer and Internet: when you discount socio-economic factors the students score about half a proficiency score better than those without connected technology

Growing sense in the US
– partnership for 21st century
– AOL, Time Warning, Apple, Cable in the Classroom, Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, NEA, SAP, plus nonprofit partners like CoSN
– “The world has gone through a revolution….” That mandates the need for technology literacy

CEO of Intel quote by Craig Barrett: “The education system in the United States is not one of the great strengths at the present time….”


Growing sense that American education is broken
– excerpt from Result that Matter: 21st Century Skills and High School Reform
– 1- the nature of education is changing internationally
– 2- the nature of competition is changing internationally
– 3- the nature of the workforce, jobs and skill demands is changing internationally

Found on www.21stcenturyskills.org

Where are we today?
– over the past 5 years US policymakers increasingly have felt that edtech is “old news”… we have invested a lot of money but not seen results


How critical is EdTech in most US districts?
– in too many districts, perhaps the majority, tech is seen as a standalone activity
– most classrooms are operating as they did in the past. Teachers love the Internet for email and research, but that is about all the educational impact it is having
– administrators love the ability to collect more data electronically, but the DDD is often one way and has little impact on instruction

surveys of students show they think most technology in schools is pretty lame
– most administrators will talk about all the reports they get and how technology is impacting them

if your tech vision is not totally tied to the vision of your school district, you might be relevant but you are not CORE, essential
– in most districts the CTO is not part of the leadership team
– tech has a separately defined mission not integral to the district’s overall mission
– this is a recipe for making sure that technology has a marginal impact in K-12

Most “value” of technology in districts, according to surveys of CTOs, were on administration not instruction
– number 1: increased data for decision making
– 2: improved support staff efficiency
– 3: increases administrator productivity

All of these are
– of the 11 values identified, the lowest was “improve test scores”
– if our core vision is improving teaching and learning for kids: it shows we are not focused on using technology to do this
– so this may show why legislators have the view they do about edtech and its impact

Reality is that K-12 is “technology lagging”
– the US dept of commerce did a survey of IT-intensity of 55 industry sectors (Digital Economy 2003 report)
– the lowest IT-Intensive industry sector was EDUCATION! Well below coal-mining and every other sector
– so we need to be real and compare education to every other business sector: there have been resources invested in education, but they don’t match

There are shining examples of school districts, however
– those really powerfully using technology, really thinking about technology as a horizontal activity

big message
– we need to make the exception the average
– we as technology leaders need to acknowledge this and communicate this to other stakeholders

The US is no longer in the top tier of countries that see ICT as a transformative agent at the national level
– all Scandanavian countries, UK, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Korea, Finland, Sweden, etc are far ahead of us

Case example: UK strategy and investment
– 2006 added “personalization” via ICT as the major new overall educational reform strategy
– invested 2-3 billion pounds from 1997 – 2008 ($3.6 – 5.4 billion US)
– they have framed this as an educational reform strategy where technology is the enabler, they call technology the “flywheel”
– focused on making educators “digitally confident”
– vision is that each individual can maximize their potential through personalization of their learning and development. Seeing technology as the “fly wheel” of reform

When comparing to international examples, we need to make sure we’re comparing ourselves to other countries that share our national commitment to high stakes testing


Quotation from Ruth Kelly, the UK Sec of State (Sec of Education) from Jan 11, 2006
– We use technology in education, because we see its power to boost standards and to enable every child to achieve their full potential. Technology is absolutely vital to our continued programme of reform because it will enable us to move forward much more quickly….”

UK impact during the Blair years
– Northern Ireland: Spending about $80 million US per year, all curriculum is online, all high stakes testing is online, all courses are offered online

– have created national database of learning objects
– www.edna.edu.au – repository of over 3 million quality digital resources
– leaders in ICT in education standards and collaboration
– Australia’s political structure is similar to the US, states and territories deliver education, work with the federal gov’t to come up with the ICT strategy
– I don’t see that we have collaboration like that working now in the US, we have so many partisan divisions
– Australia shows it is possible to come together on a nonpartisan agenda

In Jordan
– World Bank has launched an eLearning and broadband initiative

US Rhetoric
– Margaret Spellings, US Sec of Education, May 24, 2006 in Egypt
– “ICT can provide a powerful platform to help transform and strengthen education to meet the workforce needs of the 21st century.”

US Reality
– resources for edtech diminish
– the EETT program, the major federal edtech funding mechanism, is on the chopping block
– President Bush has recommended $0 for past two years, two weeks ago the US House Appropriations committee agreed

Graph of NCLB funding for technology
– 2003 and 2004: $700 million per year
– 2005: 500 million
– 2006: 300 million
– 2007: projected to be zero

Erate at risk
– most important national funding source for edtech is erate
– chair of the House Committee, Cong. Joe Barton (TX) has said he would kill the program if he had the votes… which he doesn’t
– Yesterday fighting “killer amendments” in the Senate

Yesterday the telecommunications act reopened
– virtually all those amendments were not offered, we were able to help convince conservative legislators to not offer those

CoSN core value: the greatest impediment is people, not technology

5 part action plan
1. Focus on LEADERSHIP: we think leadership makes a big difference, taking part in the CTO Clinic demonstrates you are committed to your development as a CTO professional
– COSN’s goal is to thelp educational technology leaders develop core leadership skills, for which we have developed a Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO
www.cosn.org – look up the framework

11 different essential skills of CTOs in CoSN’s framework

action 2: Focus on your vision
– edtech is not a goal in and of itself
– we need to clearly communicate this to our stakeholders

action 3: Understand the TCO and VOI
– as CTO, you need to understand both the full cost of technology (Total Cost of Ownership or TCO)
– AND you need to identify metrics for measuring the Value of Investment in Technology
– Otherwise, others will not support our funding requests
– We can’t just look at the cost side, we also have to look at value and actually measure the value

Action 4: involve your community
– parents and business community can be your biggest advocates, engage them in the process of defining your vision!
– National survey of US district tech leaders on budget cuts: 62% of districts reported flat or declining edtech budgets, 38% had increasing budgets, and the differentiators were 1) leadership/vision and 2) community support

Results at www.cosn.org/resources/grunwald

Action #5 – let your voice be heard
– policymakers make bad decisions when they don’t hear from people like you
– policymakers need to hear why eRate and EETT make a difference in your district
– Join ETAN: www.edtechactionnetwork.org
– Join advocacy efforts by ISTE and CoSN


Taking TCO to the Classroom
– www.classroomtco.org
– web based tool based on Gartner metrics, about budgeting for technology

Interested in open technologies?
– Includes open source but also standards compliance and interoperability
– www.k12opentech.org

Data Driven Decision Making
– www.3d2know.org

Accessible Technologies for All Students
– www.accessibletech4all.org
– increased achievement and success for all students through the use of accessible technologies
– website includes case studies, resources, and tips for success

Cybersecurity for the Digital District
– www.securedistrict.org
– ensuring the security of school networks
– how do you talk to board members and community members in non-technical ways to explain what you are doing, need to do, etc.
– Also has advanced tools to assess the current security status of your IT system, determine priorities for improvement, ma

Networks should be about a collaborative work environment, not locking down things so tightly that people can’t do anything

Mark calendars for San Francisco, for the first time we will be outside Washington DC!

Emerging Technologies Reports
– www.cosn.org/resources/emerging_technologies

Webcasts throughout the year for members
Activities at NECC, CTO forum will be looking at 1:1

I don’t think international efforts for ICT are responses to US successes in technology

Don’t see a move by East Asian countries to redefine standards or have second generation standards

CEO of Red Hat quoted in paper: saying ¾ of people in North Carolina that they are hiring are from other countries

Point from the floor: Adminstrators have had 1:1 for awhile, students don’t have it

We have agrarian regulatory way that we certify teacher
– the elephant in the room is that we don’t have national standards


CoSN can’t be involved in ballot initiatives as a nonprofit
– difference between advocacy and lobbying
– defining the difference is important for educators
– we all should be in a position to advocate

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One Response to A National Perspective on Educational Technology

  1. John C says:

    I thought it was great — wonderful examples

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