Technology Counts 2007: A Digital Decade focuses on the evolution in the past 10 years of the digital technology used by teachers and students and the policies that affect that use. The report features the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center’s annual state survey on educational technology and grades the 50 states and the District of Columbia on their technology leadership.
West Virginia received an “A” for access to technology. This category includes the number of students in a classroom with a computer and the number of students per high-speed Internet connection. The state received an “A-” for the use of technology. This category rated states’ use of virtual school courses and computer-based assessments.
“During the past decade, West Virginia’s educational technology efforts have led the nation,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “However, as we step further into the 21st century we face many challenges. Digital literacy must not hinge on a superficial fluency with technology. Instead teachers must feel comfortable integrating technology tools into their lesson plans, while students must become proficient in sifting through electronic information and producing creative work that will be valued in the global marketplace.”
Technology Counts 2007 highlights an opportunity to work with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to improve teacher preparation programs. The state currently does not include technology in initial teacher license requirements or recertification requirements.
In an effort to prepare all students to be competitive in the global marketplace, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has launched the 21st Century Learning Initiative. As part of this initiative, West Virginia has adopted six elements of 21st century learning that focus not only on the basics like math, science and reading, but also on 21st century learning skills, including a foundation built with technology tools.
“This is an exciting time in education,” Paine said. “While we are encouraged by Technology Counts 2007, now is not the time to rest on our laurels. As we traveled the state as part of the teacher forums, the number one concern we heard from teachers was the need for professional development with the classroom use of technology to improve achievement. As a result, the WVDE is gearing up for in-depth teacher professional development tied directly to technology. In addition, we have integrated technology standards into state curriculum with the latest revision including the 21st century learning skills.”
Technology Counts is published by Education Week, a weekly education magazine distributed nationwide. For more information on Technology Counts 2007, contact Liza Cordeiro, West Virginia Department of Education Communications Office, at (304) 558-2699.