expressed a desire to learn more about the ways in which particular educational tools (such as those listed in Appendix A) might support the innovative approaches to pedagogy discussed at the workshop. Their concerns suggested a need to create an ongoing forum for exchange of information. With support from the U.S. Department of Education, the NRC Center for Education initiated such a forum in late 2000, the Improving Learning with Information Technology (ILIT) Project. Although this project is focused on elementary and secondary education, its activities and findings are likely to guide innovations in pedagogy and technology in higher education as well.

The ILIT project is designed to create an ongoing community of experts in technology, cognitive science, and education who are devoted to improving education through creative applications of information technology.4 These experts will work to develop a path toward improving teaching and learning in elementary and secondary schools through the use of IT. The overall project is designed to enable educational decision makers to make rational and strategic decisions about how they purchase and use education technology. Just as SEMATECH helped supply firms better understand the needs of the chip makers to whom they sold, the ILIT project seeks to empower the education community to drive the development of hardware and software tools that meet the needs of children and educators alike. A final project goal is to help guide the federal research agenda in the relevant areas.

4  

Further details on the project, including contact information, are available at: http://www4.nationalacademies.org/cfe/cfe.nsf. Click on “Organizational Structure and Projects,” and on “Improving Learning with Information Technology.” [July 9, 2001].



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