Technology-related Educational Issues

The following topics on educational issues were put forward by a group of teachers at a technology workshop I attended last year. It has been in the back of my mind since then, and I think this website might be an appropriate place for it to finally emerge!

In the interests of "sharing what we know", I invite you to email me the URLs of any pertinent research or information websites you have found on these topics. (BTW... These will obviously not be exclusively Canadian websites.) I would also invite you to send in other topic suggestions which relate to issues in using technology in education.

With your help, this collection should develop into a worthwhile resource!


Assessment Equity Issues- Gender Keyboarding
Canadian Content Equity Issues - Special Ed. Scope & Sequencing
Commercialism Home Access Set-up (lab vs. classroom)
Copyright issues Human Contact Issues Specialists vs. Generalists
Developmental Issues ILS programs Teacher Inservice
Economics- "have/have not" Internet - Censorship Technical Maintenance
Economics- tough choices Internet - Privacy Time Expenditure
Edutainment- what value? Internet- Supervision Trends in Tech.
Equity Issues

Email your suggested links here!

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How do we assess the effects of technology?
How do we know we are on target?

How are we using technology TO assess?
Is it valid? Is it useful? Is it cost effective?
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Canadian Content?
Where is the Canadian content in software programs?
Is this an issue or not?
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We expect business to support education but not to rule it.
Pepsi-Coke wars are an example. Where do we draw the lines?

BCTF website
Commercialization Survey Underway In B.C. Schools
CTF Poll Shows Canadians Say No to Advertising in Schools
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District Signs Deal with Coke

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Copyright issues
What are the legal and ethical issues?

An Instructor's Guide to Internet Plagiarism (This site offers very useful information to assist educators and parents in determining if materials is plagiarized from the Internet - contents includes sites to watch, dead giveaways, and a title list of suspicious titles etc.)

Canadian Copyright Law (Contents include FAQs, copyright law and librarians, the Internet and copyright etc.)

Canadian Library Association Copyright Information (Contents includes the Canadian Copyright Act - law and regulations, International Copyright Law, interpretations of the Canadian Copyright Law, collective and performing rights societies etc.)

Cancopy On-line (Contents include general information, newsletters, write, publisher, and licensing information, and other related links)

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Developmental Issues
How do we relate the Scope & Sequences to developmental levels?
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Economics- "Have/have not" schools
How do we address the problem of "have & have not" schools?
How do we support the "have not" schools without penalizing the others?
What is the influence of PAC funding in rich versus poor school districts?
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Economic Issues - tough choices
Technology is expensive.
Hardware, software, human support and training... where should the money go?

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Some software claims to teach when the focus is more on playing games.
How can you tell when the game outweighs the educational value?
Should this type of software be part of school education?
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Equity Issues
What differences are there in the attitudes toward technology?
Does cultural background or learning styles play a part?
How does this make a difference in student usage?
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Equity Issues - Gender
Why are females under-represented in technology programs?
Do males and females approach computer use and projects differently?
How do we encourage use?

Electronic-Games for Education in Math and Science, is an interdisciplinary team doing research and development on children's interactions with computer and the design an use of (educational) computer games." The different learning styles of boys and girls is considered.

"An applied research project whose mandate is to create conditions within which girls and women have maximum access to, and confidence in, a wide range of new information technologies."

Swift - Supporting Women in Information Tech
A five year project to increase the participation of women in Information Technology in Canada.

TAP Junior: Resources for Encouraging Girls & Teens in Science/ Computers/ Technology
Part of the TAP website on women in computing at the postsecondary levels, this page includes information and issues relating to K-12 girls and computing. This site has collected many links to websites regarding women in technology.

Women in Computer Sciences: Closing the Gender Gap in Higher Education
An interdisciplinary research project led by Allan Fisher and Jane Margolis of CMU, "to understand male and female students' engagement - attachment, persistence, and detachment - with computer science, with a special focus on the gender imbalance in the field".
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Equity Issues - Special Education
What are the communication issues for special needs/disabilities, ESL, etc.?

ESL Links:

Dave's ESL Cafe
This is a an exciting site, including activities, an ESL help Centre, input from ESL teachers around the world and many links to other ESL sites.

The Internet TESL Journal
A monthly web magazine for teachers of ESL which includes "Articles, Research Papers, Lessons Plans, Classroom Handouts, Teaching Ideas & Links".

Linguistic Funland T.E.S.L.
ESL students activities, resources and discussion groups are available. "This site is intended to be a stepping off point for TESL/TEFL people into the wonderful chaos available on the Internet".

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Home Access
How does this affect what we teach at school?

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Human Contact Issues
Are we ensuring that computers are used for cooperative projects as well as individual time?
Are we training students to work as a team rather than as loners?
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ILS programs
Are ILS programs educationally sound? What does the research say?
Are there political implications? district commitments?
What is the cost... could it be better used elsewhere?
What are the time commitments? Would the computer time be better used elsewhere?
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Internet - Censorship
How far do we go?... there doesn't seem to be a clear answer here.
What do we do in case of infractions?

BCTF website
Teen Faces Expulsion for Internet Hate Site: Student's Web Page Expressed Hatred for School

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Internet - Privacy
What are the issues? What rules do we give students? parents? teachers?
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Internet - Supervision
How will we supervise students who are on the Internet?
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At what levels is it appropriate? How much time should be spent on keyboarding at each grade?
What keyboarding training software is available? Which is best?
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Scope and Sequencing
How do we approach this? at a district level? at a school level?
How do we account for different developmental levels?
Just how far do we go in advancing technology development? What do children really need?

North Carolina Website

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Set-up (computer labs vs. traveling pods vs. classroom stations)
What are the best set-ups? How are they used differently?
What are the best uses of each of the different kinds of set-ups?
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Specialists vs. Generalists
What differences occur in the teaching & learning when a teacher is a "computer teacher" versus a "classroom teacher"?
What do schools and school districts need to consider when determining how to fund "computer specialists"?
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Teacher Inservice
Do we presently require new teachers to have sufficient formal technology training?
Should we require existing teachers to attend training?
Who is responsible to organize programs for teacher inservice? to pay for it?
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Technical Maintenance
Who will supply it? Is it a district level? a school level?
Who will pay for it?
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Time Expenditure
How much time should be spent on technology?
Should different grade levels get different time allotments?
How should time be allocated when using CAI programs in addition to curriculum integration?
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Trends in Technology
How do "trendy" items affect the buying of software and hardware?
How do we know when we have "enough"?
Who is doing the buying... are they aware of teacher needs?

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June 2000