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Friday, April 01, 2005

The Information Age... and Paying for Educational Technology Coordinators

Written in response to another colleague...

The first item of interest was the statement made in the beginning of the plan that stated a “Model for the Industrial Age not the Information Age." Ruth (1977) wrote “MIT media expert Nicholas Negroponte, in his book, Being Digital, observes that while a medical doctor from the previous century would not recognize the technology in today's hospital, a college professor from that era would see virtually no change in the tools of education.” This was written in 1977 and in 2001 Newark is saying basically the same thing. We have not come a long way in the technology field for education.


This section of your post reminded me of a few things I'd like to pass on, though you may have seen them before...

NCREL's EnGuage document and 21st Century Skills framework:
http://www.ncrel.org/engauge/skills/skills.htm

Recent stories about Nicholas Negroponte's $100 laptop effort:
http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStoryts.cfm?ArticleID=5567

(On a somewhat fun note, I just saw activist Irish rock group U2's new show, in which they call for 1 million Americans to go to work in Africa to show that we believe everyone is equal. Their lead singer, Bono, is also a supporter of bringing the $100 laptop to the world's children. Perhaps we will still be able to make the changes that Negroponte wrote about in 1977... but we will all need to be a part of the effort.)

This may sound petty but does a Technology Staff Development Coordinator actually get $89,000.00. While teachers make roughly 45,000.00 to 50,000.00? I think this brings into light why many people do not come into the teacher and nursing fields. You can make more money elsewhere.


I certainly have a biased perspective, but I think the bottom line is that there are far fewer people with both the educational and technical skills needed to be a technology staff development coordinator, and I think that the value of someone who can train many teachers (and thus affect correspondingly more students) makes it worth it for a district to spend additional funds on their salary (in the same way that administrators are payed more money). Also, I like to think that after each of us completes this doctoral program we will have developed something of value and that we should expect that to be reflected in our salaries, should we care to work for school districts. And naturally, I like to think we will be worth every penny.

Consider the changes you are alluding to above... if we are able to be a part of making that happen, I think it is worth it to society to pay for our involvement.

-Mark

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