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--> Appendix B— Related Work Judging by the scale of effort involved, many interested parties embrace the idea that knowledge of and familiarity with information technology are important to citizens. A considerable amount of work has focused on the development of educational standards to which various populations (e.g., high school students, teachers, all citizens) should be held accountable; these include standards for mathematics, science, and technology education and have been designed by various organizations. In some cases, model curricula have been developed, as well as a host of college-level courses that focus on literacy about information technology. Vocational schools and community colleges have developed programs that impart job-related technology skills, and a variety of continuing-education enterprises (both in-house and "outsourced") have been sponsored by companies for their employees. This appendix addresses the evolving philosophy, standards, curricula, and other venues in which such educational efforts—for non-specialists—have developed an identity and/or a significant implementation in the modern world. B.1 Standards Perhaps the earliest type of educational standard was a behavioral one, based on the notion that a student will behave in accord with a specified standard, and that the purpose of education is to induce students to behave in such a manner. Many workplace-based skill standards reflect a similar behaviorist philosophy of psychology and education.
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--> Standards for content reflect a "knowledge-telling" philosophy of education and are the most prevalent. In this view, a student is a "blank slate" onto which the appropriate knowledge can be written. Instruction is intended to convey knowledge from teacher (or textbook) to student, and the ability to answer specific questions is the sine qua non of the educated student. Cognitive standards reflect a more constructivist philosophy of education: the student constructs knowledge for himself or herself, perhaps guided or coached by a teacher. In doing so, the student is able to provide an appropriate context for new knowledge and is thus able to take "ownership" of that knowledge in a much more secure manner. (Much of what this report describes as intellectual capabilities is also rooted in a constructivist view of education.) Standards are often tied to assessments rather than to instructional programs. Because the most common assessments emphasize a skill development or a "knowledge-telling" approach to instruction, instruction that putatively implements cognitive standards may in practice be quite far from constructivist instruction. Although a given set of educational standards does not necessarily imply a form of instruction, the form of instruction really does have an impact on their implementation. The start of the modern era of educational standards can be said to date from the publication of A Nation at Risk in 1983,1 which stated, "The educational foundations of our society are presently eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and a people. . . ." This report is often credited with identifying the inadequate mathematics and science preparation of U.S. students. Since its publication, efforts have followed to establish both academic and vocational (industry) standards. In the vocational and industrial arena, Workforce 2000 predicted in 1987 that a shortage of skilled workers would, unless checked, constrain America's economic growth.2 In 1990, America's Choice: High Skills or Low Wages, explicitly called for setting academic and occupational skill standards.3 Otherwise, the report warned, a majority of workers would continue to see their real wages decline. In 1991, the U.S. Department of 1 National Commission on Excellence in Education. 1983. A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, Department of Education, Washington, D.C., p. 65. 2 William B. Johnston and Arnold Packer, with contributions by Matthew P. Jaffe. 1987. Workforce 2000: Work and Workers for the Twenty-First Century, Hudson Institute, Indianapolis, Ind., and Department of Labor, Washington, D.C., p. 117. 3 Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. 1990. America's Choice: High Skill or Low Wages, National Center on Education and the Economy, Rochester, N.Y.
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--> Labor's Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) issued What Work Requires of Schools, which established a language for discussing standards to ensure appropriate preparation in schools for the workplace, whether school ended with high school graduation or with completion of a Ph.D. program.4 The National Skills Standards Board (NSSB) was created in 1994 by the National Skills Standards Act of 1994 to help voluntary industry organizations set standards for 12 industries and 4 cross-cutting occupations that will cover the entire economy. Even before NSSB was created, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of Education had awarded contracts to a number of groups to develop standards for such diverse areas as the retail industry, metal working, computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacture, hospitality and tourism, and even industrial launderers. The final judgment on the NSSB effort is years away, because there are as yet no assessments for most of the jobs in most of the 16 areas that the NSSB has identified. However, some industries have begun to publish standards for selected jobs—usually at the entry level—in their spheres. The NSSB strategy involves individuals having "core + one" certificates. The core would be common to the entire private sector and would likely resemble the workplace know-how defined by the SCANS commission. In the academic arena, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) produced the first set of national mathematics content standards for K-12 education, Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, released in 1989.5 (NCTM also produced Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics (1991)6 and Assessment Standards for School Mathematics (1995).7) Also in 1989, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, through its Project 2061 program, published Science for All Americans,8 which defined scientific literacy for all high school graduates. In 1993, Project 2061 issued a content-oriented document, 4 Commission on Standards for School Mathematics. 1989. What Work Requires of Schools: A SCANS Report for America 2000, Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. 5 Commission on Standards for School Mathematics. 1989. Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, Va. 6 Commission on Standards for School Mathematics. 1991. Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, Va. 7 Commission on Standards for School Mathematics. 1991. Assessment Standards for School Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, Va. 8 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 1989. Science for All Americans: A Project 2061 Report on Literacy Goals in Science, Mathematics, and Technology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C.
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--> Benchmarks for Science Literacy.9 The National Research Council deliberated on appropriate science content for pre-college education and issued National Science Education Standards in 1996.10 Continuing the new era of reform, the International Technology Education Association will publish technology standards for K-12 education in 1999. Furthermore, states have been establishing their own academic standards for high school graduation, although there is still great confusion over what makes for an adequate standard. The American Federation of Teachers, the Council for Basic Education, and the Fordham Foundation have attempted to rate state efforts, although an Education Week analysis found large disparities in the letter grades assigned by these organizations.11 For example, more than half the states received marks in mathematics that varied by at least two letter grades across the three organizations' reports. In English/language arts, such variability was found in 19 states. Finally, a quite recent analysis found that there is a long way to go before "standards-based reform" becomes a reality in the nation's schools.12 In general, the academic standards described above differ from the results of past efforts at education reform in two important ways. First, they emphasize the goals of literacy and broad inclusion, rather than concentrating on an intellectually elite subpopulation. Second, they identify an important role for whole communities (rather than just teachers); everyone plays some part in assisting educators to meet the standards. For example, in National Science Education Standards, business and industry are asked to collaborate with school personnel to initiate interesting, high-quality programs that support the standards.13 Legislators and public officials are asked to strive for policies and funding priorities that support the goals of the standards. As envisioned by their authoring bodies, the standards present content—not curriculum—to facilitate coordination, consistency, and coherence of mathematics, science, and technology education in the United States. They are designed to encourage a consistent set of educational outcomes that develop students' critical thinking skills, scientific reason- 9 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 1993. Benchmarks for Science Literacy, Oxford University Press, New York. 10 National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards , National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 11 Lynn Olson. 1998. Education Week, April 15. 12 Mark Tucker and Judy Codding. 1998. Standards for Our Schools, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, Calif. 13 National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards , National Academy Press, Washington D.C., p. 245.
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--> ing, creative problem solving, and judicious analysis—qualities identified by various constituencies as critical to the nation's ability to meet the scientific and technological demands of the 21st century and remain competitive in an increasingly global economy. Although the distinction does provide a good point of departure for understanding standards, the line between academic and vocational/industrial standards is somewhat blurred. For example, the SCANS approach was supported by the Department of Labor, but leaned in the direction of academic standards. Other government agencies have not been silent, and other standards have been developed. The National Institute for Literacy has an ongoing project, Equip for the Future (EFF), which has recently published draft literacy content standards for three realms: work, citizenship, and parenting. This work follows on earlier efforts such as the Educational Testing Services' International Adult Literacy Survey, which was based on a three-part structure of prose, document, and quantitative literacy. The EFF framework describes for each of three roles (work, citizenship, and patenting) four purposes: access to information, a voice in individuals' own lives, ability to take action, and a bridge to the future (learning to learn). For all of these the EFF defined 12 common activities (such as management of resources). It then defined 17 generative skills (such as interpersonal skills) and knowledge domains (such as systems) that support the common activities. In many ways, the EFF framework can be seen as an elaboration on the SCANS approach. A wide range of standards at the industry, federal, and the state level have begun to evolve and help define the scope and meaning of information technology literacy and related concepts. The subsections below identify some of the most salient standards as they relate to the committee's idea of fluency with information technology (FITness). B.1.1. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards In its 1989 report, Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) defined mathematical literacy as the combination of five interrelated goals for students:14 Learn to value mathematics, Become confident in their ability to do mathematics, 14 Commission on Standards for School Mathematics. 1989. Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, Va., p. 5.
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--> Become mathematical problem solvers, Learn to communicate mathematically, and Learn to reason mathematically. The NCTM standards are intended to provide a coherent framework for ensuring "that all students have an opportunity to become mathematically literate, are capable of extending their learning, [and] have an equal opportunity to learn."15 Importantly, the rationale for these standards is couched in terms of the mathematical literacy needed to function in an information and technological society. For example, the report states that "technology has dramatically changed the nature of the physical, life, and social sciences; business; industry; and government . . . . Information is the new capital and the new material, and communication is the new means of production. . . . The impact of this technological shift has become an economic reality. Today, the pace of economic change is being accelerated by continued innovation in communications and computer technology."16 Finally, the NCTM standards are envisioned as a living document; a working group is now revising the initial set of standards (Box B.1 gives an example from the current NCTM curriculum), and an updated version is expected in the year 2000. B.1.2 Standards for Science Education The standards set forth in the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards were developed "to provide criteria to judge progress toward a national vision of learning and teaching science in a system that promotes excellence. . . ."17 Approximately four years of deliberations and the combined work of thousands of educators, scientists, science educators, and other experts nationwide produced a comprehensive vision of effective science education. The associated standards 15 Commission on Standards for School Mathematics. 1989. Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, Va., p. 5. 16 Commission on Standards for School Mathematics. 1989. Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, Va., p. 3. 17 National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards , National Academy Press, Washington D.C., p. 12.
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--> Box B.1 Sample NCTM Curriculum Standard—Functions In grades 9–12, the mathematics curriculum should include the continued study of functions so that all students can— model real-world phenomena with a variety of functions; represent and analyze relationships using tables, verbal rules, equations, and graphs; translate among tabular, symbolic, and graphical representations of functions; recognize that a variety of problem situations can be modeled by the same type of function; analyze the effects of parameter changes on the graphs of functions; and so that, in addition, college-intending students can— understand operations on, and the general properties and behavior of classes of functions. . . . . . . The function concept also is important because it is a mathematical representation of many input-output situations found in the real world including those that recently have arisen as a result of technological advances. . . . Since functional relationships are encountered so frequently, the study of functions should begin with a sampling of those that exist in the students' world. Students should have the opportunity to appreciate the pervasiveness of functions through activities such as describing real-world relationships that can be depicted by graphs, reading and interpreting graphs, and sketching graphs of data in which the value of one variable depends on the value of another. SOURCE: Excerpted from Commission on Standards for School Mathematics. 1989. Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Reston, Va., pp. 154–155. outline the content of what students need to know, understand, and be able to do to be scientifically literate at all grade levels. In addition, they address pedagogy, professional development, assessment, individual school programs, and public policy at various levels. The standards are intended to guide local educational administrators and educators in for-
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--> mulating curricula, staff development activities, and assessment programs. National Science Education Standards reflects the conviction that science understanding and ability will "enhance the capability of all students to hold meaningful and productive jobs in the future," in a business community that needs workers who can "learn, reason, think creatively, make decisions, and solve problems."18 An example of the NRC's science education content standards is provided in Box B.2. B.1.3 Technology for All Americans Project Historically, the United States has neglected technology education in its academic repertoire, relegating the understanding of technology—the study of the human-made world—to vocational education.19 In European countries such as Germany, trade schools have long prepared children of workers for entry into the workforce.20 Now, standards for technology education are being created by the International Technology Education Association (ITEA), and they will serve as the basis for promoting technological literacy in grades K-12. A document produced in the first phase of the project, Technology for All Americans: A Rationale and Structure for the Study of Technology, defines the need for standards for technology education and shows how technology can be studied. 21 This phase has also sought to build consensus on issues concerning technology education. Phase II of the project will develop standards for technology education at all grade levels, K-12. The standards will focus on what students need to know and be able to do in order to be technologically literate. The standards document will identify appropriate content for technology education in a comprehensive but flexible format that local administrators and educators can adapt to fit their particular academic curriculum. The goal of technology standards is to foster technology-literate students. ITEA defines technology literacy as ". . . knowing how to use, manage, and understand technology."22 One purpose of these standards 18 National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards , National Academy Press, Washington D.C., p. 12. 19 International Technology Education Association. 1996. Technology for All Americans: A Rationale and Structure for the Study of Technology , International Technology Education Association, Reston, Va. 20 Thomas Alexander. 1918. The Prussian Elementary Schools, Macmillan, New York. 21 Technology for All Americans: A Rationale and Structure for the Study of Technology, 1996. 22 Technology for All Americans: A Rationale and Structure for the Study of Technology, 1996, Chapter 2, p. 9.
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--> Box B.2 Sample Science Education Standard CONTENT STANDARD B [Physical Science]: As a result of their activities in grades 9–12, all students should develop an understanding of Structure of atoms Structure and properties of matter Chemical reactions Motions and forces Conservation of energy and increase in disorder Interactions of energy and matter DEVELOPING STUDENT UNDERSTANDING High-school students develop the ability to relate the macroscopic properties of substances that they study in grads K-8 to the microscopic structure of substances. This development in understanding requires students to move among three domains of thought—the macroscopic world of observable phenomena, the microscopic world of molecules, atoms, and subatomic particles, and symbolic and mathematical world of chemical formulas, equations, and symbols. . . . On the basis of their experiences with energy transfers in the middle grades, high-school students can investigate energy transfers quantitatively by measuring variables such as temperature change and kinetic energy. Laboratory investigations and descriptions of other experiments can help students understand the evidence that leads to the conclusion that energy is conserved. Although the operational distinction between temperature and heat can be fairly well understood after careful instruction, research with high-school students indicates that the idea that heat is the energy of is to strengthen educators' recognition of technology as a dynamic, transforming force that schools must prepare students and citizens to manage effectively, given its increasingly central role in U.S. economic, social, and political systems. In equipping students with technology literacy, a standards-based curriculum prepares graduates to become "vested members of our technologically based society, contributing members of our workforce, and cognizant members of our democracy."23 The ITEA's Technology for All Americans standards are expected to be released in 2000. 23 Technology for All Americans: A Rationale and Structure for the Study of Technology, 1996, Chapter 1, p. 3.
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--> random motion and vibrating molecules is difficult for students to understand. GUIDE TO THE CONTENT STANDARD Fundamental concepts and principles that underlie this standard include . . . Conservation of Energy and the Increase in Disorder. The total energy of the universe is constant. Energy can be transferred by collisions in chemical and nuclear reactions, by light waves and other radiation, and in many other ways. However, it can never be destroyed. As these transfers occur, the matter involved becomes steadily less ordered. All energy can be considered to be either kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion; potential energy, which depends on relative position; or energy contained by a field, such as electromagnetic waves. Heat consists of random motion and the vibrations of atoms, molecules, and ions. The higher the temperature, the greater the atomic or molecular motion. Everything tends to become less organized and less orderly overtime. Thus, in all energy transfers, the overall effect is that the energy is spread out uniformly. Examples are the transfer of energy from hotter to cooler objects by conduction, radiation, or convection and the warming of our surroundings when we burn fuels. SOURCE: Excerpted from National Research Council. 1996. "Content Standards: 9–12," in National Science Education Standards, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 176–178. B.1.4 National Educational Technology Standards Project The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has produced a set of guidelines for technology skills in pre-K through 12th grade education, the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS).24 The primary goal of the NETS project has been "to develop national standards for the educational uses of technology. . . to guide educational leaders in recognizing and addressing the essential conditions 24 International Society for Technology in Education. 1988. National Educational Technology Standards for Students, International Society for Technology in Education, Eugene, Ore. Available online at <http://cnets.iste.org/>.
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--> for effective use of technology to support PreK-12 education." The premise for these guidelines is the belief that the U.S. educational system must begin the complex task of integrating technology within a sound educational system to prepare students for the opportunities and rigors of the technologically rich 21st century. The technology foundation standards for students are divided into six broad categories: Basic operations and concepts (students demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems and are proficient in the use of technology). Social, ethical, and human issues (students understand the ethical, cultural, and societal issues related to technology; practice responsible use of technology systems, information, and software; and develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity). Technology productivity tools (students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, promote creativity, and use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, preparing publications, and producing other creative works). Technology communications tools (students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, interact with peers, experts, and other audiences, and use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences). Technology research tools (students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources; use technology tools to process data and report results; and evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on their appropriateness to specific tasks). Technology problem-solving and decision-making tools (students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions, and employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world). To assist teachers, ISTE has also created a general set of profiles that describe technology literate students at key developmental points in their pre-college education. These profiles provide performance indicators describing the technology competence students should exhibit upon completion of the various grade ranges (see Box B.3, for example).
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--> The New York State standards (revised in March 1996) reflect a more constructivist view, focusing on technology competency so that students will be able to apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.27 Although they are more elaborate than the Maine standards, the New York standards also fit within a collection of standards that address scientific and technological literacy. Each standard identifies content for appropriate learning and requirements at the elementary, intermediate, and high school levels. New York State's technology standards encompass seven different areas of investigation and education as described below: Engineering design: Modeling and optimization are used in an iterative process to develop technological solutions to problems within given constraints. Tools, resources, and technological processes: Technological tools, materials, and other resources should be selected on the basis of safety, cost, availability, appropriateness, and environmental impact; technological processes change energy, information, and material resources into more useful forms. Computers: As tools for design, modeling, information processing, communication, and system control, computers have greatly increased human productivity and knowledge. Technological systems: Systems are designed to achieve specific results and produce outputs, such as products, structures, services, energy, or other systems. History and evolution of technology: Technology has been the driving force in the evolution of society from an agricultural to an industrial to an information base. Impact of technology: Technology can have positive and negative impacts on individuals, society, and the environment, and humans have the capability and responsibility to constrain or promote technological development. Management of technology: Project management is essential to ensuring that technological endeavors are profitable and that products and systems are of high quality and built safely, on schedule, and within budget. The standards for students range from using materials in the elemen- 27 New York State Department of Education. 1996. Learning Standards for Mathematics, Science, and Technology, revised edition, Albany, New York.
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--> Box B.4 The SCANS Framework and FITness A particularly important viewpoint is presented in the SCANS report produced in 1992 by the Secretary of Labor's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills to promote the development of a skilled workforce. 1 In addition to being the driver for a number of efforts (ranging from programs for literacy to standards for the retail industry and the information technology industry), the SCANS report described competencies that provided an important point of departure for the approach to FITness described in Chapter 2 of this report . The SCANS workplace competencies include the following: Planning and resource allocation (budgets, schedules, space, and staff); Information (acquire, evaluate, interpret, organize, communicate); Interpersonal skills (work in teams, negotiate, teach, lead, serve customers, work with diversity); Technology (select, use, and troubleshoot); Systems (understand, monitor, and design). The intellectual framework laid out in this report and the SCANS report have much in common. In particular, the SCANS competencies are expressed in the context of sustained collaborative project activity, using technology. The correspondence between the FITness capabilities and the SCANS competencies is shown in Table B.1 below. 1 Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills. 1992. Learning a Living: A Blueprint for High Performance, Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. tary grades to understanding and considering the societal impacts of the adopted technologies as a commencement requirement. Box B.5 provides some examples of standards that must be met upon graduation from high school. B.1.7 Information Technology Skill Standards28 The National Science Foundation (NSF) is funding a number of efforts to develop standards for information technology skills. Bellevue 28 This description is adapted from a Web page on information technology skill standards provided by the Northwest Center for Emerging Technologies at Bellevue Community College in Bellevue, Washington. The page can be found at <HtmlResAnchor http://nwcet.bcc.ctc.edu/skills/intro/intro.htm>.
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--> TABLE B.1 A Comparison of FITness Capabilities and SCANS Workplace Competencies. FITness Capabilities SCANS Competencies 1. Engage in sustained reasoning Pedagogical strategy 2. Manage complexity Systems (Monitor) 3. Manage problems in faulty solutions Systems (Design) 4. Test a solution Systems (Design) 8. Expect the unexpected Systems (Understand, monitor) 9. Anticipate changing technologies Systems (Understand, monitor) 10. Think about information technology abstractly Systems (Understand) 6. Collaborate Interpersonal Skills 5. Organize and navigate information structures Information (Organize, evaluate) 7. Communicate to other audiences Information (Communicate) The SCANS competencies are as "deep" and intellectually demanding as the FITness capabilities. For example, the Information competency includes the ability to write coherent and persuasive prose as well as effectively use a word processor. Moreover, the SCANS competencies have been found to apply to domains other than employment. An understanding of economics and the federal budget is as important to the average citizen as understanding copyright and encryption. Community College in Bellevue, Washington, is the host for the Northwest Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET). In addition to its five-year NSF funding, the center has received support from Boeing and from Microsoft. To support the needs of industry, NWCET has defined standards for eight information technology positions (career clusters): database administration associate, information systems operator/analyst, interactive digital media specialist, network specialist, programmer/analyst, software engineer, technical support representative, and technical writer. (Box B.6 provides further discussion and details.) Although it began at a different starting point, NWCET has come to many of the same conclusions as this and the SCANS report. Determined and validated through an extensive survey process, these standards were developed to establish agreed-upon, industry-identified
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--> Box B.5 Sample Criteria from New York State Technology Standards: High School Level To demonstrate technology competency in the seven areas described in the main text, students should be able to do the following in each area (only selected items are provided): Engineering design: Initiate an investigation, identify needs and opportunities for technological invention and innovation, generate creative solution ideas, break ideas into the significant functional elements, and explore possible refinements. Tools, resources and technological processes: Explain trade-offs, and describe and model methods to control processes and monitor system outputs. Computer technology: Understand basic computer architecture and describe the function of computer subsystems and peripheral devices; select a computer system that meets personal needs; attach a modem to a computer system and telephone line, set up and use communications software, connect to various online networks, including the Internet, and access needed information using e-mail, telnet, gopher, ftf, and Web searches. Technological systems: Explain why making trade-offs among characteristics, such as safety, function, cost, ease of operation, quality post-purchase support, and environmental impact, is necessary when selecting systems for specific purposes; explain how complex technological systems involve the confluence of numerous other systems. History and evolution of technology: Explain how technological inventions have caused global growth and interdependence, stimulated economic competitiveness, created new jobs, and made other jobs, and made other jobs obsolete. Impacts of technology: Explain that although technological effects are complex and difficult to predict accurately, humans can control the development and implementation of technology; explain how computers and automation have changed the nature of work. Management of technology: Use computer-based scheduling and project tracking tools; discuss the role of technology in successful U.S. businesses; help to manage a group to gain understanding of the management of dynamics. SOURCE: Adapted from New York State Department of Education. 1996. Learning Standards for Mathematics, Science, and Technology, revised edition, Albany, New York, pp. 50–53.
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--> Box B.6 An Example of the NWCET Standards The technology standards of the Northwest Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET) are tied to specific types of jobs. For example, a programmer analyst an applications engineer, an operating systems programmer/analyst, an operating systems engineer, or a test engineer) is said to analyze, design, develop, test, implement, and maintain computer applications systems to meet functional objectives of a business. His or her job functions include analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, project management, and task management. To establish a context, the standards provide a thumbnail job description: As a Programmer or Analysts, you design and update the software that runs the computer. . . . Often you'll participate in design meetings where you help determine the best way to approach a problem or implement a desired feature for the new version of the software. Because of the complexity of the software and because parts of the software interconnect, this can take quite some time, depending on the magnitude of the change. You most likely will also be responsible for writing the specifications and keeping the specifications current for your part of the software. You'll code the changes, and then test and debug the software, which may take a year or more of intense and focused work, including evenings and weekends. The challenge, of course, is to keep the software as lean as possible, while making it robust, powerful, and expandable. In most cases, the Programmer, Analyst, or Engineer must also ensure backwards compatibility with application software written for previous versions of the software. Periodically, the software team compiles the code. This software build is tested, and you correct any problems which all into your area of the code. The core of the standards is a description of the primary tasks and functions involved in this scenario. These tasks and functions are selected from longer "master" lists of tasks and functions on the basis of their applicability to the scenario provided. For example, the scenario described above calls for the following: Analysis (gather data to identify customer requirement; interpret and evaluate requirements; define scope of work to meet customer requirements; develop high-level systems and functional specifications; develop alternative), Design (develop detailed design specifications; develop entity relationships; prepare and conduct design review), and Project management (evaluate project requirements; report on project status). SOURCE: Adapted from material found online at <http://nwcet.bcc.ctc.edu/skills/example/paf.htm>.
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--> knowledge, skills, and abilities required to succeed in the workplace, thus providing benchmarks of skill and performance attainment that are behavioral and measurable. Without such information, employers do not know whom to hire or how to evaluate employees, employees and new entrants to the workforce do not know what is expected of them, and educators do not know how to prepare students for the challenges of the workplace. Industry-identified skill standards also serve as a vehicle for companies to communicate their expectations for worker performance. Skill standards provide a common framework for communication of workplace expectations between business, education, workers, students, and government. B.2 Philosophy One influential author who has explored the potential of information technology as a tool for reconceptualizing the educational process is Seymour Papert.29 As noted in Chapter 1, Papert believes that a deep understanding of programming can result in many significant educational benefits in many domains of discourse, including those unrelated to computers and information technology per se. However, he also expresses concern about the education community's conventional response to the call for increased integration of computer technology into the school by creating computer labs and a formal learning sequence comparable to that of other elective business courses. While "assimilating" computers into the traditional system is a natural first step, Papert asserts that the computer cannot be a transforming tool within the rigid constraints of traditional school structure. Instead, he believes that students can experience the genuine power of computers to transform their educational understanding, and ultimately develop new ways of thinking, only through a more fluid, freer environment of exploration. For this to occur, computers must be integrated throughout the curriculum, including leaving room to revise and reform the curriculum. This objective must be pursued by teachers who are comfortable with computers and with a creative and unrestricted structure, and who are supported by a like-minded educational community. A complementary view regarding information technology literacy is offered in the report Digital Literacy: Survival Skills for the Information Age (BiT3M partners, under the auspices of SRI Consulting), which was commissioned to address how to create a digitally literate workforce. The 29 Seymour A. Papert. 1999. Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas, Second Edition, Basic Books, New York.
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--> report defines digital literacy as "the ability to communicate successfully using digitally encoded information in any medium or format" (p. 1), and it states that to survive and prosper in the information age, people must learn new skills and knowledge to become digitally literate. Those who do will be empowered to use the digital medium effectively; those who do not will be increasingly excluded. The report describes literacy as cumulative, without a definitive set of symbols and images to master. Rather, literacy is a competency—an ability to produce a useful result—requiring a combination of knowledge, skills, and attitude. The three broad categories defined to cover users' differing needs for digital literacy are technical, informational, and cultural. Developing digital literacy requires a combination of formal instruction, self-instruction, trial and error, peer discussion, and a computer's online help facility. The report concludes that, although technology is destined to become more powerful and applications easier to use, the informational and cultural qualities of digital literacy are becoming increasingly important but also more difficult to master. These qualities depend on having the skills and knowledge "to ensure that [technology reflects] our values and assumptions or, at least, that we understand [technology]" (p. 11). B.3 Model Curricula and Courses B.3.1 ACM Model High School Computer Science Curriculum The ACM (originally the Association for Computing Machinery) produced recommendations for college-level computer science curricula in 1968, 1978, and 1991. In 1989, the Pre-College Committee of the Education Board of the ACM addressed the need for a high school computer science curriculum standard. Aimed at 10th grade, the ACM "Model High School Computer Science Curriculum" was originally published in 1993.30 It proposed that computer science education should be required for all high school students, similar to the curriculum requirements for the natural sciences: "The study of computer science is composed of basic universal concepts that transcend the technology and that comprise an essential part of a high school education. It is these concepts that enable the student to understand and participate effectively in our modern world." The recommended topics and areas listed below are based on this premise. 30 Task Force of the Pre-College Committee of the Education Board of the ACM. 1993. "Model High School Computer Science Curriculum," Communications of the ACM, 36(5): 87–90.
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--> Informed by the ACM computing curriculum for colleges and universities, the ACM model curriculum for high school computer science identities the following core topics: Algorithms; Programming languages; Operating systems and user support; Computer architecture; Social, ethical, and professional context; and Computer applications. Core content is specified in all topics except computer applications, for which it is recommended that applications in the following areas be included: Computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing; Computer speech, music synthesis, and art; Database systems; Electronic mail and bulletin boards; Multimedia and presentation graphics; Scientific analysis (e.g., Mathematica, Mathlab), spreadsheets, and data analysis; Word processing and desktop publishing. Other "additional topics" were also recommended to illustrate the current state of the art in the computer science discipline itself. Examples include the following: Artificial intelligence, e.g., games, expert systems, robotics, knowledge representations; Computational science, e.g., scientific visualization, modeling; Graphics, e.g., image generation, two- and three-dimensional animation; Simulation and virtual reality; Software engineering, e.g., system development, software development cycle, modeling, and diagramming. Secondary schools have not embraced computer science as an essential discipline for all students, and so the ACM model high school curriculum has not been widely implemented. Instead, students with a special gift or interest in computer science can, in some high schools, take an Advanced Placement course in computer science. This type of curricu-
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--> lum, however, is far more specialized (focused on programming) than that which would meet the FITness needs of high school students. B.3.2 College-level Courses For many years, college computer science programs have offered courses for non-majors. These courses have evolved rapidly as technology has evolved. Some years ago, they concentrated on teaching students basic skills with word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation graphics. Today, many of these courses provide experience with Web page design and use of the Internet for communication. Overall, however, these courses have had a rather limited vision, one of providing basic technological skills to students who might use them in their own major field of study. More recently, some colleges and universities have added a specific computer literacy requirement for graduation. This requirement is defined in various ways, depending on the kinds and amount of faculty resources that can be dedicated to these courses. For example, students at Marist College fulfill its computer literacy requirement by completing any one of a variety of 1-credit courses taught by faculty in different disciplines.31 Other institutions of higher education, like Wake Forest University, are engaged in vigorous faculty development projects that will help individual faculty members learn to integrate the use of technology into existing courses across the curriculum.32 Still others, like Bowdoin College, take a more laissez-faire approach, expecting that their faculty and students will, by one means or another, become computer literate without any special efforts as they progress through their course work. Most colleges and universities now provide a full range of computing and networking resources,33 expecting that their students will use technology effectively in their various courses of study. Overall, many believe34 that we have entered the era of ubiquitous computing on college campuses, an era in which computers are commonplace and inexpensive, and are effectively deployed to serve the needs of all students and faculty. The content of specific computer literacy courses for non-computer science majors varies widely among colleges. Many of these courses are 31 See <http://vm.marist.edu:80/~courinfo/descriptions/csis.html>. 32 See, for example, < http://www.wfu.edu/CELI>. 33 See <http://www.bowdoin.edu/cwis/admissions/resources/electronic.html>, for example. 34 Mark Weiser. 1998. "The Future of Ubiquitous Computing on Campus," Communications of the ACM, 41(January):41–42.
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--> limited to teaching a collection of skills with modern software packages, and thus do not embrace the idea of FITness as it is described in the main body of this report. However, there are some exceptions. At Duke University, the computer literacy course focuses on the theme "what computers can do and what they can't do, now and in the future." 35 It assumes no prior computing experience, and in a single semester introduces students to the fundamentals of programming, hardware and software, and the limits of computation. At Brown University, the computer literacy course "Concepts and Challenges of Computer Science" introduces students to programming and other problem-solving tools, as well as a wide range of topics that relate computing to daily life.36 Sample assignments in this course include home budgets, client database management, and writing a Java script to play the game tic-tac-toe. At both Duke and Brown, the computer literacy courses are hands-on laboratory-based courses with a high level of interaction among students and instructors. Vocational and technical colleges also offer a wide range of courses that contribute to information technology literacy. For instance, the University of Maine at Augusta offers a two-year degree program in computer and information systems. The core curriculum covers various areas of technology, including computer systems, networking, databases, administration of computing facilities, applications programming, and working with the World Wide Web. It emphasizes hands-on learning and practical applications of information systems.37 B.4 Other Approaches to Information Technology Literacy Skills with and knowledge about information technology may also be gained through various informal channels. For instance, dozens of teenagers and community leaders have benefited from the U.S. West Foundation's New Technology Academy, which uses children as teachers of computer technology. This program is hoping to spread the word that even in the poorest communities, kids with their uninhibited curiosity and wealth of time to "fiddle and explore" may very well be the nation's most natural teachers and maintainers of technology. Programs that use young computer "whizzes" as "computer-maintenance technicians, 35 Alan W. Biermann. 1994. "Computer Science for the Many," Computer , 27(February):62–73. 36 See, for example, <http://www.cs.brown.edu/courses/cs002>. 37 See <http://www.uma.maine.edu/academics/uacadcisbrochure.html>.
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--> troubleshooters and one-on-one tutors for fellow students, teachers and even school principals" are popping up across the nation.38 B.4.1 ACM Code of Ethics The ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct is designed as a guide for computer professionals.39 The code is very pragmatic and necessarily has an information technology literacy component. Moreover, it reflects the expectation that ACM members not only remain technically competent themselves but also contribute to the technical education of others. Although the code has little information about specific technological competencies, it does require that members conduct their lives in a way that respects the copyright, privacy, and other ethical aspects of technology and digital information that they encounter in their work. B.4.2 On- and Off-the-Job Training The skills for learning about e-mail, voice mail, "netiquette," and the impact of electronic communication on an organization are often taught in-house. The advantage is that curricula can be customized to the particular needs of the organization. For example, Kinko's information technology training needs are satisfied by extensive on-the-job training and a 2-hour course that teaches the basics of files, disk storage, hierarchies, directories, removable media, and networks, in a Windows or Macintosh environment. A number of private companies, such as CompUSA (http://www.compusa.com) and New Horizons (http://www.newhorizons.com), offer information technology training courses for the employees of large organizations and individuals. For example, CompUSA "offers computer training for the corporate client as well as the general public. It specializes in the programs that people use at home and in the office. Classes are generally offered six days a week and twice a week during the evenings. There are over 150 CompUSA Training Centers located nationwide with several new Training SuperCenter Plus sites opening in greater metropolitan areas. The new centers specialize in Novell software, project management software, Visual Basic, Lotus Notes, and Microsoft Access." 38 Elizabeth Heilman Brook. 1998. "Whiz Kids Are Given a Chance to Teach Their Stuff," New York Times, April 23. Available online at <HtmlResAnchor http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/98/04/circuits/articles/23kids.html>. 39 For more information, see <http://www.acm.org/constitution/code.html>.
Representative terms from entire chapter: