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Contact:
Sara Hall
shall@setda.org
(410) 279-3368


2010 SETDA National Educational Technology Trends Study  Highlights K-12 Innovation Through State Leadership — Underscores Key Role for Technology in ESEA Reauthorization, Success of the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) Program

April 22, 2010 (Washington, DC) – The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) today released its seventh annual National Educational Technology Trends Report, sharing new data on the increasingly important role that technology is playing in K-12 school improvement efforts in local communities in each of the 50 states. The report provides further evidence of the critical difference that national investments in educational technology are making in ensuring that all students are prepared for college and 21st century careers, that educators are able to effectively meet the needs of all students, and that every state is able to scale up innovations with broad potential for making systemic improvements in teaching and learning, increasing responsiveness to changing expectations for public education, and for realizing cost-savings.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity and obligation to help all students succeed in the 21st century,” said Douglas Levin, Executive Director of SETDA. “As Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said, ‘Schools can’t be throw?backs to the state of education fifty, twenty, or even ten years ago.’ This new study shows why the reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) must strengthen state and local educational technology leadership and capacity if we are serious about providing all students the opportunity to experience a world-class education.”

The 34-page national report is available online at www.setda.org. Individual state profiles for every state, including examples from many local communities across the country, can be accessed online from www.setda.org/web/guest/statemembers.

Five State Educational Technology Leadership Trends

The 2010 SETDA National Educational Technology Trends Report, Innovation through State Leadership, identifies five trends in educational technology leadership through the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program:

1.    Scaling Up Success. States continued to provide educational technology leadership by focusing EETT investments on student-centric, research-based, technology-rich learning environments that advance state and federal goals.

2.    Enhancing Teacher Effectiveness. For the seventh year in a row, states reported offering a wide range of professional development – including coaching and mentoring – as a key leverage point for extracting a learning return on their EETT technology investments.

3.    Using Data to Inform Learning, Teaching, and Leadership. EETT investments are increasing the capacity of educators to access, analyze, and use data effectively to inform learning, teaching, and leadership.

4.    Increasing Academic Achievement. EETT investments continue to focus on technology-enhanced teaching and learning innovations that demonstrate positive gains in the core academic areas.

5.    Driving Innovation and New Educational Models. Educators are taking advantage of EETT investments in Web 2.0, interactive technologies, and broadband, by embracing technology-enhanced learning strategies that include online learning, use of open and digital content, and web-based professional communities of practice.

Unique Role of the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) Program

The Enhancing Education through Technology program, or Title II, Part D of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is the only federal education program that supports meaningful uses of educational technology in classrooms and schools nation-wide. It serves as a complement to investments through other federal and state programs – including the E-Rate, Title I, and IDEA – and sets the national expectation that every student be technologically literate by the end of the eighth grade. Federal appropriations for the program have varied from year to year (see figure), and a broad coalition of organizations is currently seeking a federal appropriation of at least $500 million for fiscal year 2011.

Every state distributes program funds to the highest need schools through a mixture of competitive and formula grants to school districts. In addition, the 2010 SETDA National Educational Technology Trends Report reveals that the EETT program:

•    Disproportionately supports technology integration and use at the middle and high school levels, in contrast to the Title I program which historically has focused investments at the elementary school level;

•    Offers states and school districts the flexibility to invest in innovations that meet local needs, as evidenced by the net increase of transfers of federal dollars into EETT from other eligible federal program (particularly from the Improving Teacher Quality State Grants Program, Title II, Part A); and,

•    Focuses on high-quality implementation and sustainability by supporting a large proportion of multi-year competitive grants to individual school districts and to consortia of school districts.

“State educational technology directors are increasingly focusing on systemic approaches to using technology to meet student achievement goals by building the technology integration skills of educators through high-quality professional development and through the use of data to inform instruction,” said Christine Fox, SETDA Director of Professional Development and Research. “Scaling up from successful programs, many states are beginning to provide on-going professional development through the use of technology coaches, or Technology Integration Specialists, who support teaching and learning in the core content areas.”

Illustrative Successful Models and Examples

•    Scaling Up Success: States Combine Knowledge, Expertise and Buying Power. By forming a purchasing consortium, Maryland counties saved nearly a million dollars by pooling their resources to afford access to digital databases through the MDK12 Digital Library. Montana created a regional consortium to help rural and isolated districts eliminate duplication of efforts to provide high-quality professional development programs, share expenses and resources, and create a network of teacher/mentor collaboration. New Mexico developed a statewide eLearning system (IDEAL) that includes educational resources for digital content, instructional support, and professional development opportunities.

•    Enhancing Teacher Effectiveness: Northern Arizona Technology Integration Coaching (NATICC). NATICC in Flagstaff United District provided technology to partner LEAs, creating 30 technology-enhanced model classrooms. In classrooms impacted by the grant, students showed an 11% increase in math scores, while reading scores showed an increase of 3%.

•    Enhancing Teacher Effectiveness: Technology-Based Education Strategies Training Project. The Technology-Based Education Strategies Training project, Niagara Fall City School District, New York, provided professional development in the use of interactive whiteboards, tablet PCs and podcasting, grounded in and modeled on extensive research on effective professional development practices. Results include — Dunkirk: 22% increase in Middle School ELA tests scores; N Tonawanda: 22% increase in Middle school ELA test scores; 21% increase in Middle school Math test scores. Niagara: 21% increase in Middle School ELA test scores; 7% increase in Middle School Math test scores.

•    Using Data to Inform Learning, Teaching, and Leadership: The Teachers, Teamwork, & Technology. Calhoun City Schools, Georgia were awarded one of 80 statewide grants, which provided opportunities to increase student achievement through the use of interactive technology tools. Through formative assessments, teachers assessed their teaching strategies and student achievement before and after the use of the technology. Standardized math test scores increased from 78% in 2008 to 84% in 2009. The teachers reported that the use of interactive tools allowed more time for teachers to teach than in the previous year.

•    Increasing Academic Achievement: Intech Partnership. The Intech partnership (Carbon School District, Utah – Grades 7-9) project was designed to integrate technology into math education, preparing students to compete mathematically in a technology-based global economy. Seventh grade math scores in the district have increased 9 points since 2006. Mont Harmon increased 13% points in that same time period. The geometry scores at Mont Harmon increased from 54% proficient in 2006 to 80% proficient in 2009. Helper Junior High’s math scores increased from 73% proficient in 2006 to 92% proficient in 2009.

•    Increasing Academic Achievement: Closing the Digital Divide
. With EETT funds, Roselawn Condon School, Ohio purchased interactive software and equipment, along with technology integration professional development. Quarterly benchmark assessments increased from fall 2008 to spring 2009: Fifth grade increased 13% in language arts. Sixth grade increased from 17% to 65% in language arts and math scores increased from 45% to 73%.

•    Driving Innovation and New Educational Models:
Online Assessment, Lessons and Assessments Complement Classroom Instruction. Stanislaus Union Elementary, California implemented technology integrated writing programs, online grade books, online assessments and student email services. All classrooms were equipped with multimedia presentation carts for daily teacher and student use and all students have email accounts and digital lockers to communicate and collaborate with their teachers and peers. Results include an increase in teacher general computer skills. Teacher use of technology to support student learning rose from 7% to 64%. Baseline 7th grade student writing scores rose from 21% proficient/advanced in 2007 to 62% in 2009; and the 7th grade ELA benchmark scores rose from 9% proficient/advanced, to 52% proficient/advanced in the same period.

•    Driving Innovation and New Educational Models: Digital Connection program. The Digital Connection program at the Noelani and Pauoa Elementary Schools, Hawaii employed research-based online math and writing tools that provided targeted practice and continuous feedback to students and teachers. In one semester student writing as measured by the online assessments increased from 36% to 41% proficient at Noelani and from 5% to 16% proficient at Pauoa. One-semester gains on the math online assessments were 24% at Noelani and 20% at Pauoa.

•    Driving Innovation and New Educational Models: Digital Portfolios and Social Networking. Six school districts formed the Moodle Mahara Consortium in New Hampshire to support an open source student digital portfolio solution with a free online course management system. The drag-and-drop environment and social networking underpinnings allowed 8th grade classrooms within all six school districts to build portfolios. Reporting tools helped teachers and administrators evaluate progress. Teachers received common training on the use of the software and how to help their students create portfolios. Student engagement was high and many students requested access from home. Students in grades 4-9 were able to access their portfolios through a number of core content classes, and teachers began building online course environments for their classrooms.

For Further Information:

Douglas Levin, Executive Director of SETDA, is available for comment. If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Sara Hall at shall@setda.org or 410-279-3368.

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About the State Educational Technology Directors Association:

Founded in 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal association representing the technology leadership of state departments of education. The SETDA membership includes educational technology directors from the state departments of education of all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Bureau of Indian Affairs, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands. See www.setda.org for more information.

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