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Improving Learning with Information Technology: Report of a Workshop (2002)

Chapter: Introduction: Transforming K-12 Education with Information Technology

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Suggested Citation:"Introduction: Transforming K-12 Education with Information Technology." National Research Council. 2002. Improving Learning with Information Technology: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10352.
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Introduction

Transforming K-12 Education with Information Technology

Handheld computers or personal digital assistants (PDAs) were launched in the marketplace in 1996. Within 18 months, these handheld devices had swept through the business community and virtually transformed the way people took notes and kept professional and personal calendars. Today, PDAs can connect to the Internet and provide a variety of services, from scouting out restaurants in the vicinity to using the global positioning system (GPS) and enabling enterprise-wide knowledge management systems. This is but one example of the power of technology on a grand scale, transforming how people work and play.

Why hasn't technology, be it hardware or software, had the same transformative effect on K-12 education? The National Research Council's (NRC) project on Improving Learning with Information Technology (ILIT) was created to confront this question and ultimately to enable the transformation of K-12 education through information technology. It will accomplish these goals by bringing together representatives of the K-12 education, IT industry, and learning sciences communities to roadmap the improvement of K-12 education through information technology.

The initial activity of this project was a symposium that was held on January 24-25, 2001. This publication is a report of the events that took place at the symposium.

Suggested Citation:"Introduction: Transforming K-12 Education with Information Technology." National Research Council. 2002. Improving Learning with Information Technology: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10352.
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Suggested Citation:"Introduction: Transforming K-12 Education with Information Technology." National Research Council. 2002. Improving Learning with Information Technology: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10352.
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Suggested Citation:"Introduction: Transforming K-12 Education with Information Technology." National Research Council. 2002. Improving Learning with Information Technology: Report of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10352.
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In spring 2000, representatives from the U.S. Department of Education (DOEd) and senior staff at the National Research Council (NRC) recognized a common frustration: that the potential of information technology to transform K-12 education remains unrealized. In fall 2000 the U.S. DOEd formally requested that the National Academies undertake an interdisciplinary project called Improving Learning with Information Technology (ILIT). The project was launched with a symposium on January 24-25, 2001. This report summarizes the proceedings of the symposium and is intended for people interested in considering better strategies for using information technology in the educational arena. While it offers insights from the presenters on both the challenges to and the opportunities for forging a better dialogue among learning scientists, technologists, and educators, it does not contain conclusions or recommendations. Rather, it highlights issues to consider, constituents to engage, and strategies to employ in the effort to build a coalition to harness the power of information technologies for the improvement of American education. Every effort has been made to convey the speakers' content and viewpoints accurately. Recognizing the speculative nature of many of the speaker contributions, most attributions identify a speaker by area of expertise rather than by name. The report reflects the proceedings of the workshop and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all the issues involved in the project to improve learning with information technology.

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