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Report: More classrooms wired, but teachers falling behind




February 23, 1999
Web posted at: 10:24 a.m. EST (1524 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- More schools are getting more computers and Internet access, but too many teachers aren't ready to teach the burgeoning technology, according to a study released Monday by the CEO Forum on Education and Technology.

"To improve education today we must do more than put technology in schools," the CEO Forum said in its 1999 School Technology and Readiness Report. "We must empower teachers to use it effectively."

Terry Crane, president of Jostens Learning Corp. and co-chair of the CEO Forum, call training teachers to use the technology " an urgent, critical task if we are to prepare our children for the 21st century."

"Investing in computer technology and connections to the Internet in schools, without investing in teacher preparation, is like building the space shuttle and sending the crew to space with no training," Crane said.

The CEO Forum recommends mandatory computer training for teachers by 2002.

"This report validates recent studies that show teachers to be the most critical element in instructional technology," said Don Cameron, executive director of the National Education Association and member of the CEO Forum. "Teachers must have access to both quality professional development and technical support if they are to unleash the power of technology to improve instruction."

The report found that the percentage of public schools with Internet access more than doubled, from 35 percent to 78 percent, between 1994 and 1997. But still, a third of all teacher education institutions lack the facilities to train teachers in the use of the technology.

Only two states, the report said -- North Carolina and Vermont -- currently require some form of technology training for teachers.

The CEO Forum, a consortium of 20 business and education leaders, also recommended that businesses form partnerships with education to create opportunities for students to get the training they need to compete in the modern workplace.

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CEOForum on Education and Technology
Jostens Learning
National Education Association
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