ODE#039;s technology forums good idea

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

Keeping up with the Joneses may be a bit cliche, but the state of Ohio is taking a proactive approach when dealing with the issue of technology and schools.

The Joint Council of the State Board of Education and the Ohio Board of Regents is developing standards, which identify what all students should know and be able to do in the area of technology. On Monday, a focus group session was held at Dawson-Bryant High School. This is one of 25 scheduled across the state.

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The purpose of these forums is to get input from school administrators, teachers, parents, business leaders and ordinary citizens on the state's proposed technology standards, which will be introduced to schools in 2004. It is part of the state's compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which requires all students to become technologically literate by eighth grade.

The technology standards will address a broad range of technology experiences, focusing on computer literacy, information literacy and technological literacy in order to provide the best possible foundation for technology achievement.

In today's computer-driven society, it is essential that our children begin learning about technology at an earlier age than we did. Today's students must be able to appropriately use computer hardware, software applications and multimedia tools.

Children also must develop physical skills. For example, as little as 10 years ago, it was sufficient to wait until high school to take a typing class. Today, though, children need at least basic keyboarding skills in elementary school as most classrooms are equipped with computers.

Technology is an integral part of the society in which we live. It only makes sense that we make the necessary adjustments in our schools so that our children will not be "left behind."

We applaud the ODE for including everyone in developing technology standards for our schools.