FAQ: IT in Education
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IT-Using School Administrators are an essential component of the effective integration of Information Technology into curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Date 11/27/06
This section of the OTEC Website contains a lot of information of value to school administrators. A list of topic areas is given below. First, however, please pay special attention to the following three Websites:
Topics of Interest to School Administrators
Future of IT in Education
Some references are given below. In addition, you will
likely want to browse the News
Items section of this Website. Many of the news items
focus on the cutting edge of IT, and thus provide good
insight into what may be happening in the future.
Moursund, D.G. (1997). The
Future of Information Technology in
Eugene, OR: ISTE.
While a number of the details in this book are
beginning to become dated, many of the key ideas are
analyzed and presented in a manner to make them valuable
now and in the future. In addition, the book provides a
good snapshot of where we appeared to be headed in 1997.
Moursund. D.G. (November 1999). Digital
Technology: Transforming Schools and Improving Learning.
In Day, B. (Ed.) Teaching and Learning in the New
Millennium. Indianapolis, Indiana: Kappa Delta Pi.
Contains a scenario of a year 2015 educational
setting and an analysis of how IT is likely to impact our
educational system during the 1999-2015 time span.
Moursund, D.G. (May 2001). Keynote
Presentation on Future of IT in Education.
Contains the contents of the slides for a
generic keynote presentation on the future of IT in
Leadership for IT in
There is a large amount of research on roles of school
administrators in educational improvement. Generally
speaking, school administrator support and active
participation are key to school improvement and school
Thus, one should not be surprised that the same results
are being found in studies where the school improvement or
school reform involves IT. Here is a typical study:
Factors that Affect the Effective Use of
Technology for Teaching and Learning: Lessons Learned
from the SEIR*TEC Intensive Site Schools
[Online]. Accessed 10/16/01: http://www.serve.org/
The problem that most school administrators face is that
their knowledge and skills in IT are weak relative to their
knowledge and skills in other aspects of education. As they
were growing up (and going to K-12 and college) they did not
experience the types of IT use that are now being expected
of K-12 students.
For example, how can you tell if a teacher is conducting
an effective class that is making use of IT-Assisted
Project-Based Learning when your own educational
experience never included such an activity? Part of the
answer lies in drawing heavily on your overall knowledge of
education. Here is a list of possible goals for such a
lesson. Typically, an IT-Assisted PBL lesson will include a
number of these goals.
- Learn the subject matter content of the project.
- Learn IT as integral part of the subject matter
- Learn some general aspects of IT.
- Learn how to do a project.
- Learn to work as a team member.
- Learn to be a project proposer, a team member, a
problem solver, and a "higher-order" thinker.
- Learn to learn and help others learn all of the
- Practice using one's accumulated knowledge and skills
in the context of a new problem/project area, thus
contributing to students' transfer and generalizability
If the teacher has a clearly specified set of goals, you
can look for (and learn on the job) how these goals are
being accomplished. Notice that a number of the goals for an
IT-Assisted PBL lesson are independent of IT.
Every school and every school district has a unique
"culture." Cultures change over time, but they are not
easily changed by direct action of a few people. Thus,
attempts to integrate Information and Communications
Technology into a school's culture are often not very
Peterson. Kent D. Positive or negative? A
school's culture is always at work, either helping or
hindering adult learning. Here's how to see it, assess
it, and change it for the better. Journal of Staff
Development, Summer 2002 (Vol. 23, No. 3). [Online.
Accessed 6/9/02: http://www.nsdc.org/library/jsd/peterson233.html
Quoting from the article:
School culture is the set of norms, values
and beliefs, rituals and ceremonies, symbols and
stories that make up the "persona" of the school.
These unwritten expectations build up over time as
teachers, administrators, parents, and students work
together, solve problems, deal with challenges and, at
times, cope with failures. For example, every school
has a set of expectations about what can be discussed
at staff meetings, what constitutes good teaching
techniques, how willing the staff is to change, and
the importance of staff development (Deal &
Peterson, 1999). Schools also have rituals and
ceremonies--communal events to celebrate success, to
provide closure during collective transitions, and to
recognize people's contributions to the school. School
cultures also include symbols and stories that
communicate core values, reinforce the mission, and
build a shared sense of commitment. Symbols are an
outward sign of inward values. Stories are group
representations of history and meaning. In positive
cultures, these features reinforce learning,
commitment, and motivation, and they are consistent
with the school's vision.
Additional References for Leadership for IT in
Cuban, Larry (September 2001). Leadership for Student
Learning: Urban School Leadership--Different in Kind and
Degree [Online]. Accessed 10/19/01: http://www.iel.org/programs/21st/
Here is a brief summary quoted from the Institute for
Educational Leadership (IEL) Website:
In this "politically incorrect" essay on big
city schools, author Larry Cuban spotlights the
importance and singularity of urban leaders in Pursuing
school reform. In addition to debunking three "obvious
fictions" about large urban school districts, the paper
makes some decidedly political challenges. A glimpse of
the tough tasks ahead is provided through a list of five
suggestions for improving both cities and schools.
Institute for Educational Leadership. The IEL is a non-profit organization. Here is a brief statement about the organization, quoted from their Website:
The Institute for Educational Leadership's (IEL)
mission is to improve education -- and the lives of
children and their families -- through positive and
visionary change. Every day, we face that challenge by
bringing together diverse constituencies and empowering
leaders with knowledge and applicable ideas. This is why
foundations, corporations and generous individuals
support our work, and why our teams often include the
most innovative federal, state and local government
agencies and many of the nation's leading nonprofit
organizations. We invite you to explore our site and
learn more about IEL's organization, people, programs and
Just for the ASKing! Newsletter. Accesssed 3/7/06: http://www.askeducation.com/newsletter.htm.
Just for the ASKing! is a free monthly newsletter that addresses the needs of instructional leaders, especially building level administrators. Each month, the newsletter features a column that provides information, insights or suggestions that are helpful to administrators as they strive to be instructional leaders in schools. The monthly column, authored by ASK Group Senior Consultant, Bruce Oliver, focuses on a wide array of topics including improving achievement for all students, the importance of active learning, establishing and maintaining a collaborative culture, and looking at data beyond the numbers.
Pogrow, Stanley. What works? Research Based Principles for Improving School Achievement and Reducing Learning Gaps [Online]. Accessed 11/1/01: http://www.hots.org/Articles/Admin_advice.html.
This is a "work in progress" article being
written specifically for school administrators. Dr.
Pogrow is the developer of a highly successful Higher
Order Thinking Skills set of ideas and materials that are
targeted toward lower performing students. The following
is quoted from the HOTS Homepage:
HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) is an
exemplary 1-2 year program for Title I and LD students
in grades 4-8 that solves the biggest problem in
...the overwhelming tendency of disadvantaged
students to decline dramatically in grades 4-8 and
thereby rewidening learning gaps and become at risk
for dropping out--regardless of how effective their
early schooling was. The most dramatically successful
national intervention for Title I and LD students in
grades 4-8. Used in over 3,000 schools.
Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership. Accessed 11/26/03: http://www.portical.org/about_tical.html. Quoting from the Website:
School administrators are busy people with a big job to do! The Internet offers a tremendous range of information, tools, and resources that can help administrators lead their schools and districts to excellence. But what administrator has time to search and sift through hundreds of web pages to find the right resource for right now?
Seeing this problem, the California Department of Education (CDE) commissioned the Santa Cruz County Office of Education to develop a centralized repository of technology related resources and professional development opportunities for California's administrators. The Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership (TICAL) and portical.org were born!
Located at portical.org is information that will help administrators in finding resources to assist in the day-to-day needs of their jobs, whether they are site level principals or district superintendents. These resources have been collected and organized by a cadre of technology-savvy, practicing administrators and met criteria judged to be of value to other administrators.
Legal and Ethical Issues
Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) News
[Online]. Accessed 6/12/01: http://www.ala.org/cipa/.
Note that this is an American Library
Association Website. On March 20, ALA filed suit against
the Children's Internet Protection Act and the
Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act (see
Legislation and Litigation).
Quoting from the Website:
The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
and the Neighborhood Internet Protection Act (NCIPA)
went into effect on April 20, 2001. These new laws
place restrictions on the use of funding that is
available through the Library Services and Technology
Act, Title III of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act, and on the Universal Service discount
program known as the E-rate (Public Law 106-554).
These restrictions take the form of requirements for
Internet safety policies and technology which blocks
or filters certain material from being accessed
through the Internet.
Educational Media Resources [Online]. Accessed
EMR is a not-for-profit corporation specializing
in educational programs. There Website contains a
substantial number of links to the following three
- Information on Computer Ethics
- Professional Responsibility Related Topics
- Access Issues and Resources
Quoting from the Website:
Our educational software programs provide you
with interactive multimedia tools that will assist you
in your quest for knowledge. Our products are designed
to give you a thorough understanding of a particular
subject matter. Each product features prominent
experts in the field. Whether you are an individual
seeking answers to a problem, or an institution
seeking pedagogical material to supplement the
curricula, EMR's instructional resources can help.
FindLaw (Oregon) [Online: Accessed 6/7/01: http://www.findlaw.com/11stategov/or/.
Internet Privacy [Online]. Accessed 3/17/02:
This Follett Software Company Website provides
links to a number of sites that deal with issues of
Oregon Department of Administrative Services: 03-21
Policy and Standards (February 18, 1997) [Online].
Accessed 6/14/01: http://spr.das.state.or.us/policies/03-21aup.htm.
SUBJECT: Acceptable Use of State Electronic
ABSTRACT: Requires that all agency electronic
information systems be used for agency business with
Oregon Advocacy Center (OAC) [Oline]. Accessed 6/15/01: http://www.oradvocacy.org/ Quoting from the Website:
OAC is an independent non-profit organization
which provides legal advocacy services for people with
disabilities anywhere in Oregon. OAC is designated under
federal law as the protection and advocacy system for
Oregon, but it is not a part of the state or federal
government. OAC has attorneys and advocates who assist
people with disabilities.
Oregon University System: Acceptable Use Policy
[Online]. Accessed 6/14/01: http://www.ous.edu/its/ITSacceptuse.html.
Quoting from the Website:
OUS's computing resources and facilities are
intended for legitimate instructional, research,
administrative, public service, or approved contract
purposes. Use of OUS resources should be consistent with
the goals of facilitating and disseminating knowledge,
encouraging collaborative projects and resource sharing,
aiding technology transfer, fostering innovation and
building a broader infrastructure in support of education
and research. Individuals who disregard elements of this
policy may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action
Those using computer facilities and services must
respect the intellectual and access rights of others
locally, nationally, and internationally. Users are
expected to follow acceptable standards of ethics and
conduct in their use of computing resources. Responsible
user behavior includes consideration for other users, as
well as efficient use of the computing resources.
Responsible Netizen [Online]. Accessed 11/23/00:
This Website focuses on: 1) Developing effective
strategies to assist young people in gaining the
knowledge, decision-making skills, motivation, and
self-control to behave in a safe, responsible, legal, and
ethical manner when using the Internet and other
information technologies. 2) Disseminating these
strategies to schools, libraries, parents, policy-makers,
U.S. Department of the Interior: Internet Acceptable Use
Policy (1997) [Online]. Accessed 6/14/01: http://www.doi.gov/footer/doi_aup.html.
This is an Acceptable Use Policy for employees.
Schools and school districts may find it useful as a
Educational Policy Archives [Online]. Accessed
ISTE Technology Standards for School Administrators TSSA
Draft Introduction (v2.1) for National Review and Feedback
[Online]. Accessed 6/8/01: http://cnets.iste.org/tssa/framework.html.
The Website contains a draft of the proposed ISTE Standards.
Quoting from the Website:
The Collaborative for Technology Standards for
School Administrators (TSSA Collaborative) is leading an
initiative to develop and document a national consensus
on what PK-12 administrators should know about and be
able to do to optimize benefits of technology use in
schools. This consensus will be published by the
Collaborative in October 2001 as Technology Standards for
School Administrators (TSSA).
The effort is grounded in the belief that effective
implementation of technology in all facets of an
educational system is, in itself, large-scale systemic
reform. There is clear and critical evidence of the key
role leadership plays in successful school reform.
Therefore, the Collaborative's standards will identify a
common focus for the role of leadership in enhancing
learning and school operations through the use of
technology. More fundamentally, the Collaborative
addresses leadership for technology with the ultimate
purpose of preparing students for their futures.
These standards present targets for school
administrators. They are indicators of effective
leadership for technology in schools. They define neither
the minimum nor maximum level of knowledge and skills
required of a leader, and are neither a comprehensive
laundry list nor a guaranteed recipe for effective
technology leadership. Rather, these standards represent
a national consensus among educational stakeholders of
what best indicates effective school leadership for
comprehensive and effective use of technology in schools.
The standards should stretch almost every school
administrator in some areas, yet each individual standard
is attainable by the accomplished educational leader.
Although a national consensus, in no way are these meant
to inhibit new development, innovation, or progress for
schools or for school leadership.
ISTE Technology Standards for School Administrators TSSA
Draft (v3.0) [Online]. Accessed 9/12/01: http://cnets.iste.org/tssa/.
STANDARDS FOR SCHOOL LEADERS of the Interstate School
Leaders Licensure Consortium [Online]. Accessed
State & National
Organizations & Publications
American Association of School Administrators
[Online]. Accessed 6/18/01: http://www.aasa.org/.
Quoting from the Website:
AASA, founded in 1865, is the professional
organization for over 14,000 educational leaders across
America and in many other countries. AASA's mission is to
support and develop effective school system leaders who
are dedicated to the highest quality public education for
all children. The four major focus areas for AASA are:
- Improving the condition of children and
- Preparing schools and school systems for the 21st
- Connecting schools and communities.
- Enhancing the quality and effectiveness of school
Confederation of Oregon School Administrators
[Online]. Accessed 1/29/01: http://www.cosa.k12.or.us/.
Over 2,000 school administrators from all over
the state of Oregon comprise COSA's active membership.
These are the leaders in Oregon's 1,237 public schools.
Founded in 1974, COSA is the voice of educational
leadership in Oregon.
COSA's Mission Statement: Professional School
United to Insure Quality Education
&endash; "Oregon's Future".
Electronic School [Online]. Accessed 10/24/01:
Quoting from the Website:
Welcome to Electronic School, the award-winning
technology magazine for K-12 school leaders. Electronic
School is published quarterly as a print and online
supplement to American School Board Journal, in
cooperation with ITTE: Education Technology Programs, a
program of the National School Boards Association.
Electronic School chronicles technological change in
the classroom, interprets education issues in a digital
world, and offers readers -- some 80,000 school board
members, school administrators, school technology
specialists, and other educators -- practical advice on a
broad range of topics pertinent to the implementation of
technology in elementary and secondary schools throughout
Fullan, Michael (April 2000). The Three Stories of
Educational Reform [Online] .Phi Delta
Kappan. Accessed 11/30/01:
Quoting the first two paragraphs and then one later
IT TAKES ABOUT three years to achieve successful
change in student performance in an elementary school.
Depending on size, it takes about six years to do so in a
secondary school. While this is good news, there are two
serious problems with this finding. First, these
successes occur in only a small number of schools; that
is, these reform efforts have not "gone to scale" and
been widely reproduced. Second, and equally problematic,
there is no guarantee that the initial success will last.
Put in terms of the change process, there has been strong
adoption and implementation, but not strong
The main reason for the failure of these reforms to go
to scale and to endure is that we have failed to
understand that both local school development and the
quality of the surrounding infrastructure are critical
for lasting success. I pursue this argument in terms of
what I call "the three stories of reform."
Technology is ubiquitous; the issue is how to contend
with it. In What's Worth Fighting For Out There?
Hargreaves and I concluded that the more powerful
technology becomes, the more indispensable good teachers
are. Technology generates a glut of information, but it
has no particular pedagogical wisdom -- especially
regarding new breakthroughs in cognitive science about
how learners must construct their own meaning for deep
understanding to occur. This means that teachers must
become experts in pedagogical design. It also means that
teachers must use the power of technology, both in the
classroom and in sharing with other teachers what they
National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
Study: State Leaders Must Take Action On Education
Technology To Reform Entire System [Online].
Accessed 12/3/01: http://www.nasbe.org/Front_Page/Press_Release.html.
The Web address given above points to a Press
Release. At the top of the Press Release is a link to a
PDF file containing the full report. Quoting from the
(Washington, DC)-In a report released today,
the National Association of State Boards of Education
(NASBE) concludes that an ad hoc education technology
system is developing that exacerbates existing
disparities and cannot assure a high standard of
education for all students. Acknowledging the
uncomfortable reality that education leaders are
behind the curve when it comes to the rapidly evolving
trends of education technology, the report urges state
policymakers to fill this leadership vacuum and to
begin driving technology policies that will
effectively maximize achievement for all students.
The report, Any Time, Any Place, Any Path, Any
Pace: Taking the Lead on e-Learning Policy, notes that
the estimated $7 billion expended each year on
e-learning has resulted in successful "islands of
innovation," but that quality varies widely, and like
in so many other educational instances, poor and
minority students are under-served - if they have any
access at all. Despite these daunting challenges, the
report proclaims that "new classroom technologies
available today have the potential to radically
transform education as we know it."
Oregon Career Information System (ORCIS) [Online]. Accessed 9/25/03: http://cis.uoregon.edu/.
The Oregon Career Information System provides a
comprehensive and state-based resource to help Oregonians
of all ages become aware of work and educational options,
connect education and work, and make successful career
decisions and transitions throughout their lifetime.
Oregon Department of Education (ODE) [Online]. Accessed 9/25/03: http://www.ode.state.or.us/.
Oregon PTA [Online]. Accessed 9/25/03: http://www.oregonpta.org/
Oregon Public Education Network (OPEN) [Online]. Accessed 9/25/03:
Oregon Public Education Network was founded as a
grass roots effort and formalized as an Oregon Associated
Education Service District-sponsored (OAESD) project in
1995. OPEN's mission is to enable all of Oregon's K-12
schools to participate in a coordinated information
network. And to establish ongoing web-based curriculum
development and professional development resources for
teaching and learning through the OPEN Web site. OPEN
builds on successful regional networks to offer a wide
range of networks and educational services targeted for
Oregon students and educators.
PTO Today [Online]. Accessed 9/25/03: http://www.ptotoday.com/index.html.
Quoting from the Website:
Founded in the Spring of 1999, PTO Today, Inc.
has quickly established itself in the center of the
parent group world as a valuable resource for parent
group leaders and as a valuable connection between those
leaders and parent group marketers.
PTO Today, Inc. currently integrates three distinct
product offerings--all tailored to its niche audience of
parent group leaders:
- PTOtoday Magazine--our flagship with a print
circulation of more than 80,000 parent group leaders
- PTOtoday.com--our Internet home and the
centerpiece of our mission to facilitate sharing among
- PTO Shows--A series of one-day conferences for
parent group leaders and parent group marketers.