• practitioners in the education community who understand the opportunities and the challenges for improving teaching in U.S. schools; and

  • those in the IT sector who are committed to improving education, including those from the hardware sector who wish to adapt their commercial equipment to better meet the financial and technological constraints of the K-12 community and software developers who can design new tools and applications for use primarily in education.

Three goals were identified:

  • to establish ongoing dialogue and interactions among the technology, learning and cognition, and education practitioner communities for the purpose of improving education for all learners through the development and appropriate uses of modern technology;

  • to find ways to incorporate the knowledge base, research findings, and innovations from each of these communities into coherent strategic approaches to developing education technologies; and

  • to offer information so that the end users of education technologies can make better informed decisions about the purchase, use, and maintenance of these technologies and, in addition, can develop the capacity to offer the kinds of professional development programs that will enable teachers to use education technologies in ways that can transform teaching and learning.

To accomplish these goals, the committee organized a large workshop that was held at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, DC, in January 2001. People from all three communities were invited to attend and discuss how to forge an extended community of expertise from the three domains. They also were asked to explore how, by working together, strategic decisions could be made about how IT products could be developed based on evidence from the cognitive and learning sciences about ways to enhance learning and teaching. Finally, in plenary and breakout sessions, participants considered how education practitioners could both use this expanded knowledge base and contribute to the strategic design of IT product development as well as the direction of education research that focuses on the use of IT.

Descriptions of presentations about various models of IT use in schools that seem to be improving learning, the rich conversations that surrounded those presentations, the innovative ideas that many participants contributed to this workshop in both plenary and breakout sessions, and possible next steps for the committee to undertake are detailed in a separate report (National Research Council, 2002b). At the meeting of the committee following the workshop, it quickly became clear that a

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