"Technology Frequently Asked Questions"

1. Why use technology? The U.S. Department of Labor conservatively estimates that over 90% of all jobs today require the use of a computer. The Department also estimates that currently almost half of all workers are employed in industries that produce or are intensive users of information technology.

Students are now also expected to enter the workforce prepared to: 1. select technology, 2. apply technology to tasks, and 3. maintain and troubleshoot equipment. Visit the Academic Innovations web site for information about The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS).

Speaking about education and the necessity of integrating technology into the curriculum, Alan Greenspan at the 2000 National Governors' Association Conference said ". . . critical awareness and the abilities to hypothesize, to interpret, and to communicate are essential elements of successful innovation in a conceptual-based economy." To read his address in its entirety, visit the Federal Reserve Board's web site.

2. What kind of technology can I use? The Pendleton County School System has an abundance of personal computers, printers, and software for basic skills and accelerated learning. We also have digital cameras, scanners and high speed Internet access. E-mail offers the opportunity for communication with students, parents, the community and other educators.

With our video conferencing connection provided by Verizon, we have students taking virtual field trips to such places as Florida, Georgia and California. Visit Verizon's web site to read the article, "Sharks in Pendleton County! Students Visit Florida Marine Lab Using Videoconferencing" and the section Virtual Classrooms: Our Technology at Work.

3. What does my county/school technology plan say about technology use? Access the county technology plan here or visit the central office for a hard copy. The current edition places emphasis on standards for the use of information technology with students. The plan places a high emphasis on teacher training and staff development. Wayne Hedrick continues to provide assistance with regard to integrating technology into the curriculum on as needed basis throughout the county

Your school technology plan is available in your principal's office.

We plan to continue providing technical assistance in the form of Trent Sites, county technician. His timely response to computer repair requests results in less downtime for the computers and labs when you are trying to use them.

4. What about standards? National standards for the educational use of technology were developed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Standards have been established for both students and teachers. We encourage you to visit NETS web site for more information.

(The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Project is an ongoing initiative of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and a consortium of distinguished partners and cosponsors.) The student standards profile what technology literate students should achieve at certain stages in their K-12 education. Our county technology plan lists training in this area as a primary goal for staff development.

5. What about Content Standards? The State of West Virginia has established content standards for each grade level. Each grade level has content standards that relate to the integration of technology into the curriculum. This information may be accessed at the WVED web site. Correlations to content standards will be developed at a later date.

6. What about lesson plans?

Some examples and ideas can be found at the lesson plans' section of the WVED web site.

Verizon's ThinkFinity (formerly MarcoPolo) provides the highest quality, standards-based Internet content and professional development to K-12 teachers and students throughout the United States. Visit the site.

7. What about E-mail? The county technology plan states that e-mail will be used by teachers and administrators to communicate with parents, students, and the community. We strongly encourage the use of e-mail. Each school has trainers who will train you on the proper use of e-mail and set up an e-mail account for you with the state department of education. See the following web sites for examples of how students can use e-mail: Visit the Electronic School's web site for examples of how students can use e-mail. Visit Global Connection for additional units, activities and related ideas.

8. What does the county/school acceptable use policy say? Pendleton County Schools has a county acceptable use policy, which encourages appropriate use of technology and the Internet. See your principal for more information. The acceptable use policy articulates appropriate use for students and adults. These policies must be signed by the parent or guardian of any student. Also, visit the Federal Trade Commission's web site for information about privacy initiatives.

For examples of proper netiquette, visit Albion's web site. "The Core Rules of Netiquette" are excerpted from the book Netiquette by Virginia Shea.

9. How can I use the Internet? The Internet is a worldwide network of computers. Anyone with a computer and connection to an ISP (Internet Service Provider) can access information from other computers all around the world via the Internet.

The Internet is changing the way teachers teach and students learn, but teachers need the skills to use the Internet effectively. Read about how technology and the Internet are changing teaching styles at Education Week on the web (American Education's online Newspaper of Record).

10. Where do I turn for help? Talk to your principals. Also ask other teachers who you may feel are knowledgeable in the field of technology to help you. Do not forget to talk to your principals about areas that you would like to see addressed. Get to know the members of your school technology team. If the issue is related to computer repair, send an e-mail to Trent Sites.