conclusions about the state of technological literacy in the United States must reflect skills and knowledge in all three dimensions.

  1. Assessments should not reflect gender, culture, or socioeconomic bias. Because of the nature of technology, men and women, people from different cultures, and people from different economic backgrounds experience and value technology in different ways. Designers of assessments must take these differences into account to avoid including items and tasks that favor or disadvantage particular groups.

  2. Assessments should be accessible to people with mental or physical disabilities. In keeping with federal and state laws and regulations, assessments of technological literacy must be designed, as much as possible, to allow individuals with mental or physical disabilities to participate.

In addition to these general guidelines, the committee developed findings and related recommendations in five categories: opportunities for assessment; research on learning; the use of innovative measurement techniques; framework development; and broadening the definition of technology. The numbering of the recommendations does not indicate prioritization. Although some recommendations will be easier to implement than others, the recommendations are interdependent, and the committee believes that all of them are necessary.

Opportunities for Assessment

General Findings

Based on the review of assessment instruments (Chapter 4 and Appendix E) and input from participants in a committee-sponsored workshop, the committee finds that the assessment of technological literacy is in its infancy. This is not surprising considering that most students still have no access to courses in school that are likely to encourage technological thinking. Although a majority of states have adopted the learning goals spelled out in the ITEA standards in one form or another, fewer than one-quarter require that students take coursework consistent with the standards in order to graduate (Meade and Dugger, 2004). With the notable exception of technology educators, few teachers currently have an incentive to learn about or demonstrate knowledge of

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement