Technology for All Americans Project

Phase II

The Technology for All Americans Project is a project of the International Technology Education Association (ITEA) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The project completed Phase I in September 1996 with the publication titled Technology for All Americans: A Rationale and Structure for the Study of Technology. The Phase II research effort (October 1996 to September 1999) will involve the development, consensus building, and validation of content standards for technology education in grades K-12, with assessment checkpoints at grades 2, 5, 8, and 12.

The project staff will coordinate the total project and work with an Advisory Group, a Standards Team, and the educational profession in developing, consensus building, and validating the standards. The project staff will be responsible for the writing, generating, and consensus building process for the standards. The staff will also have the responsibility of research as related to the standards. Another task of the staff is to ensure that Standards for Technology Education: Content for the Study of Technology (Content Standards) are compatible with other educational standards that are being developed or already exist, especially those in science, mathematics, social studies, and the humanities.

The Advisory Group will advise the best practice in standards development and determine ways for the study of technology to be integrated within the total school curriculum. The Standards Team will propose, evaluate, and recommend the content of the standards. The Standards Team is comprised of three subteams (one team for grades K-2 and 3-5, one team for grades 6-8, and one team for grades 9-12) with a leader and recorder appointed for each.

The first meeting of the Standards Team was held on October 25-28, 1996 at the Xerox Document University in Leesburg, Virginia. At this meeting, the universals of technology presented in the Rationale and Structure document were utilized to generate the organizational or broadest level of the standards by benchmark grade level. After this was accomplished, the subteams worked on developing first drafts of the more specific or detailed standards, which are concerned with what each student needs to know and be able to do in order to be technologically literate. In some cases, the subteams went one step further and developed the most specific level in the hierarchy of standards.

The Standards Team leaders and recorders met in March 1997 and again in April 1997 to review the draft standards and provide input. The draft standards were mailed to the entire Standards Team in late May 1997 for their review and input. The Standards Team met again on August 9-12, 1997 to review the standards, provide input, and refine the standards. The project staff used the input from this meeting to develop the 'official' first draft of Content Standards.

From October to December 1997, the first draft of Content Standards was reviewed by more than 1,000 people during a consensus building process. The document was mailed to 210 individuals (11 focus groups, the projects' Advisory Group and Standards Team, and other selected individuals) for review and input. The draft was also reviewed by 222 individuals at Standards Hearings conducted across the country. Finally, the draft was posted on this home page from November 5-30, 1997. During that time period, the project recorded 2,277 hits to its home page. Of those hits, 653 individuals entered the Content Standards section of the home page to review the draft and/or to provide input. During the winter of 1997-98, the input received during the consensus building process was analyzed and synthesized. These findings then guided the revision process of the first draft of the document.

From February to April 1998, the second draft of the document again went through a consensus building process. For the review of the second draft, the project staff focused their attention on receiving comments on the standards for grades K-12. In the first draft, many individuals gave extensive comments on the front end of the document, but did not provide detailed comments directly on the standards which were located further into the document. The main core of the document is the standards, and it was important to devote this review on perfecting them.

The document was on-line for the month of April for electronic review. During that period of time, the project recorded 1, 917 hits to its home page. Of those hits, 322 individuals entered the standards section of the home page to review the draft and/or to provide input. At the beginning of April, the draft was mailed to 253 individuals. Finally, Standards Hearings were conducted across the country.

After this input was analyzed and synthesized, the document was further developed and refined into a third draft. From September 1 to October 5, 1998, teachers and school representatives from 64 schools across the country participated in a field review of Content Standards. Each school received the standards for their appropriate grade level (elementary, middle, or high). In October 1998, the complete third draft was mailed to 173 individuals for their review. The third draft included an introduction to technology education, an overview of the Dimensions, a description of the format of the standards, the standards by grade levels, a chapter on advancing technological thinking, and a chapter on what needs to be done in the future.

The staff is currently working on compiling and analyzing the input and using the information from the field review and mail review to guide the revision of the third draft. The final document is scheduled for release in the year 2000.

ITEA's Technology for All Americans Project plans to develop extensive promotion and dissemination activities on the standards so that technology education professionals, as well as educators in general, will know what Content Standards is and how they can assist in improving technological literacy for all children.


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