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To: Multiple recipients of list <edinfo@inet.ed.gov>
Subject: ED Report on Technology & Education (message 1)

     AT THE "NETDAY96 HOW TO" CONFERENCE in Washington on June 29,
     Secretary Riley released his national long-range plan for
     education technology.  The plan, which was called for by
     Congress in the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994, looks

       >  the BENEFITS of technology -- how better student
          achievement & motivation can result.

       >  CHARACTERISTICS that distinguish schools using technology

       >  how much it COSTS.

       >  ROLES of the federal government, states, communities,
          higher education, business, & others in promoting
          effective uses of educational technology.

       >  the President's 5-year, $2-billion TECHNOLOGY LITERACY

       >  and much more.

     The plan -- "Getting America's Students Ready for the 21st
     Century: Meeting the Technology Literacy Challenge" -- was
     developed by our Office of Educational Technology, with input
     from hundreds of individuals.  It is expected to be appear in
     our Online Library (within the next few days) at:


     Paper copies will be available in about 6 weeks.  You may get
     on the list to receive the 70-page report by calling 1-800-

     Below are excerpts organized around key questions.  All the
     excerpts we found interesting wouldn't fit into a single e-
     mail message, so we're sending a second message immediately
     after this.                      ~~~~~~

EXCERPTS from "Getting America's Students Ready for the
21st Century: Meeting the Technology Literacy Challenge."
A Report to the Nation on Technology & Education.
U.S. Department of Education.  June 1996

How many schools have enough computers to ensure they'll be used
regularly in classrooms?

     "Only 4 percent of schools have a computer for every five
     students -- a ratio sufficient to allow regular use.  Only 9
     percent of classrooms have connections to the Internet."

What are characteristics of successful technology-rich schools?

     "Studies examining the success of technology-rich schools have
     revealed four key features that appear to represent best
     practices of the high technology school of the future.  The
     first feature emphasizes the role of concentrated, conscious,
     and explicit planning among school leaders, families, and
     students to create "learner-centered" environments.  These
     learner-centered environments focus on how technology can
     support students' individual needs and capabilities, not on
     the capabilities of the technology itself.

     "As a corollary to this planning process, the goals and
     challenging standards for student achievement are clearly
     articulated.  In successful technology-rich schools, these
     measures of student success are not simply limited to
     achievement test scores, but also include indicators of other
     important school processes, such as student motivation and
     engagement, job placement, attendance rates, dropout rates,
     and level of family involvement.

     "A third feature emphasizes the restructuring of the school to
     support the learner-centered environment and achievement of
     standards.  Successful technology-rich schools physically
     reorganize and redesign their classrooms and school buildings,
     rethink their use of time, reevaluate the manner in which they
     deliver their curriculum, and build better partnerships among
     teachers, administrators, parents, and students.

     "For example, within the framework of this learner-centered
     environment, a successful technology-rich school may lengthen
     its class periods to accommodate an interdisciplinary program,
     which is enhanced through the use of technology.  Teachers may
     lecture less and require more interaction and discussion from
     students.  Properly supported with technology, many students
     with disabilities remain in regular classrooms with their
     peers, or reduce their need for school-related services.  In
     these and similar ways schools are restructured to become
     learner centered.

     "The fourth and final feature common to successful technology-
     rich schools is near universal access to computer technology
     -- at least one computer for every five students.  To
     accomplish this level of access, successful schools spend
     about three times as much on technology-related costs as do
     average schools.  In some cases, these schools spend more than
     five times the average.  Additionally, many currently
     successful technology-rich schools secure an initial
     investment of external funding to defray the startup costs of
     technology and training."

What are the four goals laid out in the plan?

     *    All teachers in the nation will have the training and
          support they need to help students learn using computers
          and the information superhighway.
     *    All teachers and students will have modern multimedia
          computers in their classrooms.
     *    Every classroom will be connected to the information
     *    Effective software and on-line learning resources will be
          an integral part of every school's curriculum.  "

What does the report say about "how we're doing, as a nation," in
relation to the education technology goals?

     Due to limited space here, let's look at what the report says
     about one goal -- Goal 3 (the one about *every classroom being
     connected to the information superhighway*)....

     "Connections to local area networks (LANs) and the Internet
     turn computers into versatile and powerful learning tools.
     Access to these networks introduces students and teachers to
     people, places, and ideas from around the world to which they
     might otherwise not be exposed.   Surveys conducted by the
     National Center for Education Statistics in 1994 and 1995
     indicate the progress made to achieve these connections:

     *    In 1994, 35 percent of schools had access to the
          Internet; a year later, that number had grown to 50
     *    In 1994, 3 percent of all instructional rooms
          (classrooms, labs, and media centers) in public schools
          were connected to the Internet; in 1995, this had grown
          to 9 percent.
     *    Fifty-five percent of schools indicated that funding was
          a major barrier to the acquisition or use of
          telecommunications, down from 69 percent in 1994.
     *    Of the 50 percent of schools that do not have Internet
          access, 74 percent have plans to secure access in the
     *    In the 18 months from January 1995 to June 1996, the
          number of schools with World Wide Web sites on the
          Internet went from 134 to 2,850 -- an exponential rate of

     "While progress toward the goal of connecting every classroom
     is rapid, much remains to be done:

     *    In 1995, only half as many schools in poor areas (31
          percent) had Internet connections compared with schools
          in the wealthiest communities (62 percent).
     *    Small schools, high-poverty schools, and elementary
          schools are the least likely to have Internet
          connections, and the least likely to have plans for such
     *    Funding remains the number one barrier to widespread use
          of telecommunications.  In addition, the two next largest
          barriers are directly related to funding.  Forty-seven
          percent of schools cite too few access points within
          school buildings, and 40 percent cite the poor quality or
          lack of equipment."

How much will it cost to reach the four goals?

     "A number of organizations have developed cost estimates based
     on varying models of technology deployment.  Among these
     organizations is McKinsey and Company, which in 1995 completed
     the most comprehensive estimate to date of the costs of
     implementing technology in all of the nation's schools.  Based
     on a model of one multimedia computer for every five students,
     connections to the information superhighway in every
     classroom, every teacher trained in the use of information
     technologies, and adequate software to help students meet high
     academic standards, McKinsey estimates the cost to be $109
     billion over 10 years, or an average of approximately $11
     billion per year.

     "An analysis by the RAND Corporation of technology-rich
     schools estimates the combined initial and ongoing costs of
     technology at between $8 billion and $20 billion per year over
     five years, depending on the number of computers per student,
     the intensity of professional development, and other factors.
     The Telecommunications Industries Analysis Project (TIAP)
     developed another estimate, with seven students per computer,
     of $10 billion to $12 billion per year over five years.

     "These cost estimates range from three to six times what is
     currently being spent for purchasing and supporting the use of
     educational technology in schools across the nation and would
     represent a significant increase in current discretionary
     expenditures for instructional materials, such as for books
     and other curriculum supplies.  However, when viewed in the
     context of the total public elementary and secondary school
     enterprise, which serves more than 43 million elementary and
     secondary students, the costs seem more modest, ranging from
     3 to 7 percent of total expenditures for the 1994-95 school

What are some of the funding challenges?

     "First, to integrate technology fully into students' learning
     experiences, schools need a much higher density of multimedia
     computers and related equipment than is currently present in
     schools.  Even with rapidly falling hardware costs, this will
     mean substantial new investments for many schools.  Many of
     the computers in schools today are more than five years old;
     some are ten years old.  These computers will need to be
     replaced.  Other, newer computers can be upgraded for a few
     hundred dollars each.

     "Second, implementing technology means much greater
     investments for teacher training and ongoing support of
     teachers in the classroom.  Many fully equipped schools have
     a full- or part-time technology coordinator whose job it is to
     maintain equipment, provide on-the-spot assistance to teachers
     in the classroom, and assist teachers with identifying
     technology-based resources (such as software, video
     programming, on-line databases, and use of the Internet).
     Today, schools spend an average of 9 percent of their
     technology budgets on training and support, while the
     experience of technology-rich schools suggests that more than
     30 percent of much larger technology budgets should be
     invested in these areas.

     "Third, schools, particularly older ones, face a need for
     significant building improvements.  Figure 1 displays the
     proportion of schools responding to a 1995 General Accounting
     Office survey of the adequacy of the infrastructure in place
     to support technology as compared to the adequacy of
     infrastructure in central city schools.  It shows that half of
     all schools do not have adequate electrical wiring (such as
     outlets) to handle their technology needs.  More than half do
     not have sufficient telephone lines, and 60 percent consider
     the number of conduits for network cable unsatisfactory.
     Schools that have all of these infrastructure elements are
     clearly the exception to the rule.  Strikingly, schools in
     large central cities are even less equipped to meet the
     demands of technology than other schools; more than 40 percent
     do not even have enough electrical power to use computers on
     a regular basis.

     "These estimates and analyses of the funding challenges
     communities face indicate that the costs of implementation are
     far greater than what schools currently spend, despite the
     rapid growth of expenditures in recent years.  While the
     federal government and private sector can make contributions,
     local communities and state governments will be challenged to
     meet these costs.

     "Of course, some schools will reach these goals much sooner
     than others.  Classrooms in older buildings, for example, may
     require expensive renovations to improve electrical systems
     before computers and networks can be installed, discouraging
     the community from making a commitment.  Meeting the enormous
     cost of implementing technology in schools, then, raises some
     important questions about how to ensure that all American
     students get access to these vital tools of education."

               [ continued in next message ]

Kirk Winters
Office of the Under Secretary
U.S. Department of Education

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