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The Technology Coordinator (1992 Edition)

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Moursund, D.G. (1985, 1992). The Technology Coordinator. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education. This is the Second Edition of a book first published in 1985. ISTE gave the copyright back to David Moursund in 2001.

Click here for PDF file of the book.

Click here for Microsoft Word file of this book. Note that this may download the document to your desktop so that you need to open it from there. The file name is TechCoordinator.doc.

Click here for Table of Contents.

Click here for Preface to the 1992 edition.

Table of Contents of August 1992 The Technology Coordinator

Chapter 1. Overview of Computers in Instruction 3
Chapter 2. Goals of Education and of Computer Use in Instruction 11
Chapter 3. The Need for Technology Coordinators 19
Chapter 4. Computer Teacher Versus School-Level Technology Coordinator 27
Chapter 5. TC as Computer-Assisted Learning Specialist 39
Chapter 6. TC as Computer-Integrated Learning Specialist 47
Chapter 7. The School District Technology Coordinator 53
Chapter 8. General Qualifications to be a TC 59
Chapter 9. Technical Qualifications to be a TC 63
Chapter 10. The Future of Computers in Education 69
Introduction 85
Middle School Computer Coordinator 87
School District Computer Coordinator 93
Large School District Computer Coordinator 99
Rural County Computer Coordinator 105
Small School District Computer Coordinator 111
Urban County Computer Coordinator 119
Small High School Technology Coordinator 125
A. Twenty Years Ago 131
B. Historical Look at the Future 133
C. The Two-Percent Solution 139
D. Back to Basics 145
E. The Fifth Generation: It's for Real 149
F. High Tech/High Touch 153
G. The Information Explosion 157
H. Lower-Order and Higher-Order Skills 161
I. Chesslandia: A Parable 163
J. All Purpose Relatively Intelligent Learner Computer 167
K. CAI Versus Computer-As-Tool: Not Either/Or—But Both! 169
L. Standardized Testing and Computer-Assisted Instruction 171
M. On Being a Technology Advisor 173
N. Effective Inservice for Computers in Education 177
O. Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment of Students 181
P. Information Age: Evolutionary and Revolutionary Change 185
Q. Ten Years of Educational Computing 189
Index 195

Preface to August 1992 The Technology Coordinator

Educational leaders throughout the world are calling for school reform and school restructuring. More and more people are coming to realize that their current educational systems are not adequate to the challenge of the Information Age. Many of our school graduates, as well as an even larger percentage of our school dropouts, are not adequately prepared to deal with the changing challenges of a world that is placing ever increasing emphasis on INFORMATION—information as a product and information as an aid to solving problems. Schools need to help prepare students to make effective use of computers and computer-based hypermedia as an aid to learning and problem solving.

Many businesses have met the challenge of the Information Age by installing numerous information processing facilities and training workers in their use. Although at a much slower pace, our school systems are also doing the same thing. The "workers" in our schools are the students and the staff. Eventually all will have very good access to a wide range of information technologies. Eventually every school will have a support structure designed to ensure that the hardware and software facilities are in good repair. They will have staff to help both students and teachers learn to make effective use of the facilities.

Throughout this book we will generally use the word "computer" to mean both computers and a computer-based multimedia environment that includes a wide range of information acquisition, storage, processing, and delivery devices. It is becoming common to use the word "hypermedia" to refer to this teaching, learning, communicating, problem-solving environment.

This book is written for educators who want to play a leadership role in the instructional use of computers and other information technology facilities in precollege education. The main orientation of this book is toward schools in the United States and Canada. However, many of the ideas are applicable in other countries. This is because the Information Age is a worldwide phenomenon.

It is assumed that the reader has some familiarity with computers and computer-related equipment. For example, it is quite likely that the typical reader uses a word processor and has used a variety of pieces of educational software. Many readers will have had experience with use of a variety of media equipment such as CD-ROM, laser disc, camcorder, and audio recorders.

The first edition of this book was published in February 1985 with the title, The Computer Coordinator. Since that time, the number of computers in schools has grown immensely; the quality and capability of computer hardware and software has grown substantially; and the complexity of the computer coordinator job at the school and at the school district has continued to increase.

Moreover, the nature of the "computer coordinator" job has changed. The past seven years have seen a massive switch in computer use in schools from computer programming to computer applications (computer-as-tool) and to computer-assisted learning (CAL). The idea of a hypermedia classroom has emerged. (A hypermedia classroom provides students and teachers access to a wide range of electronic and non-electronic information technology facilities. The facilities may be used to create interactive, non-linear materials that are called hypermedia documents.) Computer networks have become common. Telecommunications—electronic mail, electronic bulletin boards, electronic conferencing, and use of online databases—has grown very rapidly.

The emphasis has switched from a focus on the computer itself to a focus on learning environments that are facilitated by computers. A hypermedia classroom may make use of a very wide range of electronic media equipment, such as VCR, camcorder, videodisc, CD-ROM, audio digitizer, scanner, laser printer, impact printer, PC-viewer, slide projector, and computer. Students in this classroom may have access to a telecommunications network that reaches throughout the building, the school district, and the world. This network provides access to people and to information. While a computer "glues" all of the components together, the computer is certainly not the central focus. The central focus is learning and communicating, and most often both the learning and the communicating are focused on a non-computer topic.

Because of this, the title "computer coordinator" has become outdated. In this book, we use the title "technology coordinator" (TC) to designate an educator at the school level or at the school district level who works to facilitate effective use of a wide range of computer-related information technologies in instruction.

The current version of the book addresses some of the changes of the past seven years. Interestingly, many of the basic ideas underlying the field of computers in education have not changed appreciably over this period of time. Thus, a substantial portion of the original content of The Computer Coordinator is contained in The Technology Coordinator.

The book is divided into three main sections. The first part, extending through Chapter 10, is a short treatise on the general topic of a TC. The second part contains interviews with a number of TCs. The third part contains a number of articles I wrote between 1983 and 1990. They provide historical perspective and highlight many of the major issues faced by a TC. Each of the three sections is relatively independent of the other two, so that the reader may wish to browse all three before settling down to reading the book from cover to cover

David Moursund
August 1992

Permission is granted to make use of these materials for non-commercial, non-profit educational purposes by schools, school districts, colleges, universities, and other non-profit preservice and inservice teacher education organizations and activities.

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