September 2006 - Vol 66, No 1 - International Technology and ...

September 2006 - Vol 66, No 1 - International Technology and ...

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7Engineering Design in aMighty Pinwheel MachineActivityA mighty pinwheel activity is anexcellent way to teach the STLstandard, “engineering design”through problem solving, designprocess, and cooperative learning.Kyungsuk Park andAngela McFarlandDepartments1 ITEAOnline24In the Newsand CalendarYou & ITEA10 Resourcesin Technology172224283134ContentsSEPTEMBER • VOL. 66 • NO 1FeaturesSix Concepts to Help You Align With NCLBThis article presents several concepts and practices that can assist you in refocusing andsolidifying your technology education program to align with NCLB goals.Dale HansonITEA Member Receives Disney Teacher AwardDoug Dillion of Honey Creek Middle School in Terre Haute, Indiana is chosen from 75,000nominees nationwide.Approaches to Assessing Technological LiteracyDescribes Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy, a report published inJuly by the Committee on Assessing Technological Literacy, a study panel appointed by theNational Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council.Greg PearsonBecoming a Reflective Technology TeacherA personal story about reflective teaching that provides examples of how it can improvestudent learning, as well as how to modify classroom initiatives based on reflections, andmost importantly, how to improve the teaching of technology.Cynthia EvansSuper Mileage Challenge: Combining Education and Fun!Describes a high school competition that provides students with the unique opportunityto combine theoretical aspects of mathematics, science, and technology with practicalexperience in the design, engineering, fabrication, and testing of an actual vehicle.Jim Thompson and Mike FitzgeraldSuper Mileage Challenge: Photo SpreadPublisher, Kendall N. Starkweather, DTEEditor-In-Chief, Kathleen B. de la PazEditor, Kathie F. CluffITEA Board of DirectorsKen Starkman, PresidentEthan Lipton, DTE, Past PresidentAndy Stephenson, DTE, President-ElectEd Denton, DTE, Director, ITEA-CSJohn Singer, Director, Region ILauren Withers Olson, Director, Region IIJulie Moore, Director, Region IIIRichard (Rick) Rios, Director, Region IVRodney Custer, DTE, Director, CTTEJoe Busby, DTE, Director, TECAVincent Childress, Director, TECCKendall N. Starkweather, DTE, CAE,Executive DirectorITEA is an affiliate of the American Associationfor the Advancement of Science.The Technology Teacher, ISSN: 0746-3537,is published eight times a year (Septemberthrough June with combined December/Januaryand May/June issues) by the InternationalTechnology Education Association, 1914Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA20191. Subscriptions are included inmember dues. U.S. Library and nonmembersubscriptions are $80; $90 outside the U.S.Single copies are $8.50 for members; $9.50for nonmembers, plus shipping—domestic@ $6.00 and outside the U.S. @ $17.00(surface).E-mail: kdelapaz@iteaconnect.orgWorld Wide Web: www.iteaconnect.orgAdvertising Sales:ITEA Publications Department703-860-2100Fax: 703-860-0353Subscription ClaimsAll subscription claims must be made within 60days of the first day of the month appearing onthe cover of the journal. For combined issues,claims will be honored within 60 days fromthe first day of the last month on the cover.Because of repeated delivery problems outsidethe continental United States, journals willbe shipped only at the customer’s risk. ITEAwill ship the subscription copy but assumesno responsibility thereafter. The TechnologyTeacher is listed in the Educational Index andthe Current Index to Journal in Education.Volumes are available on Microfiche fromUniversity Microfilm, P.O. Box 1346,Ann Arbor, MI 48106.Change of AddressSend change of address notification promptly.Provide old mailing label and new address.Include zip + 4 code. Allow six weeks forchange.PostmasterSend address change to: The TechnologyTeacher, Address Change, ITEA, 1914Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA20191-1539. Periodicals postage paid atHerndon, VA and additional mailing offices.PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER

Now Available on theITEA Website:TechnologyTEACHERT h e V o i c e o f T e c h n o l o g y E d u c a t i o ntheEditorial Review BoardCo-ChairpersonDan EngstromCalifornia University of PACo-ChairpersonStan KomacekCalifornia University of PASteve AndersonNikolay Middle School, WIStephen BairdBayside Middle School, VALynn BashamMI Department of EducationClare BensonUniversity of Central EnglandMary BradenCarver Magnet HS, TXJolette BushMidvale Middle School, UTPhilip CardonEastern Michigan UniversityMichael CichockiSalisbury Middle School, PAMike FitzgeraldIN Department of EducationMarie HoepflAppalachian State Univ.Laura HummellManteo Middle School, NCFrank KruthSouth Fayette MS, PALinda MarkertSUNY at OswegoDon MuganValley City State UniversityMonty RobinsonBlack Hills State UniversityMary Annette RoseBall State UniversityTerrie RustOasis Elementary School, AZYvonne SpicerNat’l Center for Tech LiteracyJerianne TaylorAppalachian State UniversityGreg Vander WeilWayne State CollegeKatherine WeberDes Plaines, ILEric WiebeNorth Carolina State Univ.ITEA has a brand new website with the resources to help you start offthe school year right!• A colorful new look with lots of photos. You never know who willpop up on the homepage.• “Quick Links” to help you find what you want fast.• All the latest information about the annual ITEA conference insunny San Antonio in March 2007.So, put on your sunglasses and check us out at PolicyAs the only national and international association dedicatedsolely to the development and improvement of technologyeducation, ITEA seeks to provide an open forum for the freeexchange of relevant ideas relating to technology education.Materials appearing in the journal, includingadvertising, are expressions of the authors and do notnecessarily reflect the official policy or the opinion of theassociation, its officers, or the ITEA Headquarters staff.Referee PolicyAll professional articles in The Technology Teacher arerefereed, with the exception of selected associationactivities and reports, and invited articles. Refereed articlesare reviewed and approved by the Editorial Board beforepublication in The Technology Teacher. Articles with bylineswill be identified as either refereed or invited unless writtenby ITEA officers on association activities or policies.To Submit ArticlesAll articles should be sent directly to the Editor-in-Chief,International Technology Education Association, 1914Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539.Please submit articles and photographs via emailto Maximum length formanuscripts is eight pages. Manuscripts should be preparedfollowing the style specified in the Publications Manual ofthe American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition.Editorial guidelines and review policies are availableby writing directly to ITEA or by visiting Contents copyright © 2006 by the InternationalTechnology Education Association, Inc., 703-860-2100. • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

In the News & CalendarElection CandidatesThe 2006-2007 ITEA Board of Directors election ballot will be emailed to Professional and activeLife Members in September. The highly experienced field of candidates is pictured here. Exerciseyour right to vote by completing your ballot promptly! Ballots must be submitted to ITEA on orbefore October 30, 2006.President-Elect (Teacher Educator)Len LitowitzProfessor andTE Program CoordinatorMillersville University ofPennsylvaniaEd ReeveProfessorDepartment of Engineeringand Technology EducationUtah State UniversityJoe ScarcellaProfessor of EducationMA Program CoordinatorDepartment of Science,Mathematics and TechnicalEducationUniversity of California,San BernadinoRich SeymourAssociate ProfessorDepartment of Industry andTechnologyBall State UniversityRegion I Director (Teacher Educator)Gerald DayCoordinator of GraduateStudiesDepartment of TechnologyUniversity of Maryland,Eastern ShoreRoger HillAssociate ProfessorDepartment of WorkforceEducation, Leadership, andSocial FoundationsUniversity of GeorgiaMark NowakProfessorCalifornia University ofPennsylvaniaScott WarnerAssistant ProfessorMillersville University ofPennsylvaniaRegion III Director (Classroom Teacher)Nathan BrubakerInstructorPutnam City High SchoolOklahoma City, OklahomaSteve MeyerMiddle and High SchoolTechnology and EngineeringTeacherBrillion School DistrictBrillion, WI • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

ITEA’s 69 th Annual ConferenceMark your calendar now for March 15-17, 2007 and joinITEA in historic San Antonio, Texas for ITEA’s 69th AnnualConference and Exhibition, “Technological Literacy: AGlobal Challenge.” With topics such as “PositioningTechnology Education to Lead Educational Reform,”“Transforming Technological Literacy Delivery Systems(Pre-K through Adult),” “Showcasing Standards-BasedPrograms,” and “Utilizing Global Learning Communities,”the San Antonio conference is one you won’t want to miss.Now the eighth largest city in the U.S., San Antonio hasalways been a crossroads and meeting place. An historic cityon the famed Riverwalk, the warmth you feel is not just fromthe sunny climate, but from the hearts of its residents. Proudof their city and heritage, they are always ready with thespecial brand of hospitality for which Texas is so famous.Come feel the excitement and join the fun! Visit for the latest information.and Community Services Division, at 800-466-9367 Information is also availableonline at 17, 2006 The Massachusetts TechnologyEducation/Engineering Collaborative will present its 2006MassTEC Conference at Fitchburg State College. Pleaseconsider offering a workshop, sharing an activity, curriculum,or project with your fellow technology education teachers.Workshop presenters attend the conference at no cost andreceive three PDPs towards recertification. Workshops are 50minutes in length, and the college offers AV equipment andsupport. Submission deadline for presenters is November 1,2006. Contact Dave Jurewicz at foradditional information.CalendarOctober 19-21, 2006 The National Conference onAviation and Space Education (NCASE) will host “ExploringNew Worlds Together” at the Crystal Gateway Marriott inArlington, VA. Online registration and full event informationis available at 2-4, 2006 The Mississippi Valley Conferenceand the Southeastern Technology Education Conference(STEC) will hold the first ever combined conferencein Nashville, TN at the Radisson Hotel Opryland. TheMississippi Valley Conference will be held all day onThursday and till lunch on Friday. After Friday’s lunch, STECwill hold its conference and will conclude Saturday at noon.All Mississippi Valley and STEC members are welcome toattend both conferences. For more information, contact HalHarrison, STEC Secretary-Treasurer at 864-656-6967 15-17, 2006 DeVilbiss, Binks, and OwensCommunity College will present a Spray FinishingTechnology Workshop in Toledo, OH. Two ContinuingEducation Units will be awarded for this intensive threedaytraining program. Attendees should be involved withindustrial, contractor, or maintenance spray finishingapplications, or spray equipment sales and distribution.To register, or for additional information, contact JaimeHollabaugh, Owens Community College, WorkforceMarch 15-17, 2007 The 69th Annual ITEA Conferenceand Exhibition, “Technological Literacy: A Global Challenge,”will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center inSan Antonio, Texas. Now the eighth largest city in the U.S.,San Antonio has always been a crossroads and a meetingplace. An historic city on the famed Riverwalk, the warmthyou feel is not just from the sunny climate, but from thehearts of its residents. Proud of their city and heritage, theyare always ready with the special brand of hospitality forwhich Texas is so famous. Come feel the excitementand join the fun! Go to for thelatest information.June 21-27, 2007 The PATT-18: Pupils’ AttitudesTowards Technology, International Design, and TechnologyEducation Conference, “Teaching and Learning TechnologicalLiteracy in the Classroom,” will be held in Glasgow,Scotland. For further information about the conference orpresentation opportunities, contact the Conference Director,John Dakers at Completed papers(2,500–3,000 words) must be emailed to the above addressno later than the November 30, 2006.List your State/Province Association Conference inTTT, TrendScout, and on ITEA’s Web Calendar. Submitconference title, date(s), location, and contact information(at least two months prior to journal publication date) • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

You & ITEAFinancial Assistancefor San the time to start finding financial assistance togo to ITEA’s San Antonio Conference, March 15-17,2007. There are numerous places to find financialsupport, and it takes a certain mindset to besuccessful. Here are some hints to help you!• Compile facts on the ITEA conference, such as:PassingFormer ITEA member Arthur “Art” Rosser, Ph.D. passedaway April 2, 2006. Rosser is the former dean of CentralMissouri State University’s College of Applied Sciences andTechnology. He served as dean for 15 years before retiring in2002. Rosser was named a Distinguished TechnologyEducator by ITEA.Dr. Rosser received three degrees from Ohio Institutions:bachelor’s degree from Wilmington College, master’s degreefrom Kent State University, and doctorate from The OhioState University.Dr. Rosser was on the faculty at Trenton State College inNew Jersey and served as a Dean at both Southeast MissouriState University in Cape Girardeau and Central MissouriState University in Warrensburg, prior to accepting theposition as Dean of the School of Technology at ClaytonState University in Atlanta, Georgia.1) It is the largest technology education professionaldevelopment experience in the U.S., and you need thatexperience.2) The largest trade exhibition in the country will beavailable, showing the latest in resources, materials,and equipment.3) The nation's educational leaders meet here to network,determine directions, and share decisions on issuesthat influence the profession.• Create talking points (after reviewing the program) as tohow this conference program could improve education foryour students. Don't forget to share that you will learnmore about teaching math, reading, and science concepts!• Stress to the administration that you will be attending as arepresentative of the school and district at aninternational conference and what an honor it will be togo as an ambassador for the school. Administrators loveto have their schools touted at functions.• Print the preliminary program and share it with yourpotential funder.• Apply to be part of the program, e.g., the teachershowcase known as the Technology Festival. Here you canshare your best ideas, activities, or teaching strategies in aone-to-one discussion with other teachers.• Have a small budget put together based upon travel,registration costs, housing, etc., so when asked how much • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

you need, the answer is readily available. A single sourcemay not have all the money you need, but coupled withanother, you might get totally funded!• Apply to be a Teacher or Program Excellence winner,bringing positive recognition to your school and program.• Most technology teachers have found success whenapplying for professional development monies early in theschool year.Don't wait until the last minute and expect success. Whenschool starts, your funding efforts should start!Where to look for funding sources...• Talk to your immediate supervisor about usingprofessional development monies. That person may alsobe the principal, district curriculum specialist, countysupervisor, or a combination of any of these individuals.• Ask your local PTA for assistance using the informationabove.• Search for project monies that relate to your schoolsystem's special projects. Sometimes a project on specialeducation, special needs, or some other area of emphasisincludes professional development funding. ITEAconferences have an array of programs that touch onmany different areas of education. Make the relationshipand seek their funding.• Become friends with local civic groups that support education.For example, the Lions or Rotary Clubs often willsupport teachers desiring to get professional development.Assure the group that you would be pleased to givea small report on what you have learned. They will bethrilled to know that they have helped your program, andyou will have an opportunity to sell your good work tothe community.• Contact your district or state supervisor who deals withtechnology education. Frequently, they know of funding,such as the Perkins Legislation or the Math/ScienceInitiatives, that can be used to help you. You will have tocomplete paperwork, so start the process now!• Currently, the Wells Fargo Bank (if in your community) iswilling to provide limited awards for professionaldevelopment.• Do a search of local educational foundations. For example,selected companies have national educational fundingprograms that they wish to utilize in state or regionalcompany locations. A local representative of a largeorganization may be able to find funding that will helpyou.• Check with your local teacher's union. You pay dues, andthey may have a program that will help you.Assume that you are going to get funded with every potentialsource that you ask. You will be surprised to find that the oneplace where you thought there was no funding will be yournew source. Remember, most of your colleagues are notaware of the potential for funding. That makes youropportunity for success even greater. • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

Engineering Design in a MightyPinwheel Machine ActivityBy Kyungsuk Park andAngela McFarland…the students experienced eachstep of the engineering-designprocess.IntroductionTechnology education in elementary school is taughtthrough hands-on activities that are designed to addresstechnology content such as communication, construction,manufacturing, transportation, and biotechnology.According to Park (2004), “hands-on activities are essentialin elementary school classrooms since elementary schoolstudents learn more through doing something by hand thanby listening to knowledge. Knowledge is not transferredfrom a teacher to a student, but constructed throughinteraction between individuals or between people andmaterials” (p. 2). Lunenburg (1998) stated that “childrenactively construct their knowledge, rather than simplyabsorbing ideas spoken to them by teachers” (p. 76).Learning technology education produces positive outcomesby opening new avenues of effective learning throughhands-on activities (International Technology EducationAssociation, 2000/2002; LaPorte & Sanders, 1996; NationalResearch Council, 1996; Park, 2004; Zuga, 2000).The pinwheel lesson was created from a unit on theadvantages and disadvantages of wind energy. The unitincluded a historical review of how people have used windenergy and an analysis of the work performed by moderndaywind machines. However, the students needed thechance to take the science knowledge gained from the unitand use it to experience the excitement of making a machinethat could actually solve a specific problem. The mightypinwheel machine activity introduced students to thetechnology content standards in the engineeringdesignsection.Design Brief:Students will design and build a mighty pinwheel machineout of the recycled materials. The number of paper clipslifted as the pinwheel spins will judge the success of themighty pinwheel machine. The materials needed arecardboard, pinwheel patterns, bendable straws, scissors,toothpicks, Scotch tape, hole punch, and recycled boxes.The procedure is as follows:1) Color pinwheel with markers.2) Cut out pattern on lines.3) Cut slots to create wings for the pinwheel.4) Bend and glue the wings.5) Attach the pinwheel to a dowel or strip of woodwith a pin.6) Blow on pinwheel to make sure it spins.7) Use the recycled materials to make a mightypinwheel machine that has a base, tower, and aplace to attach the pinwheel.8) Have the students explain what decisions theymade when making the base, including detailson how they designed the machine to be able toachieve its purpose.9) Have the students make a prediction of how manypaper clips their machines will lift.10) Test the mighty pinwheel machine to determinehow many paper clips it is able to lift to apredetermined height.Design, Build, and TestTwenty-six fifth grade students were purposively selected asparticipants. The students were asked to design and sketch amighty pinwheel machine. The students were encouraged tokeep an engineer journal that was used to record the initialbrainstorming ideas generated on how to solve the problem,notes on why they selected certain materials for makingthe machines, notes on any problems that occurred during • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

GroupDesignIdeas from Design/Sketch Final product/Test1 Windmill2 My brain3 Success of other groups4 Me and my partnerTable 1. The process of engineering design.the building process, a drawing of the final product, lessonslearned from watching the testing of other machines,and reflections on lessons learned from the entire mightypinwheel experience. Table 1 shows a sampling of designidea, sketch, and final products.As shown in Table 1, the students experienced each step ofthe engineering-design process. They generated the ideas,sketched, constructed, tested the first design, redesigned,and tested the final mighty pinwheel machine.Connecting to the StandardsA mighty pinwheel machine activity relates to the STLstandard pertaining to “engineering design” [Standard 9:Students will develop an understanding of engineeringdesign]. According to the International TechnologyEducation Association’s Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy: Content for the Study of Technology (STL)(2000/2002), in order to comprehend engineering design,students in Grades 3-5 should learn that: • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

(1) The engineering-design process involves defininga problem, generating ideas, selecting a solution,testing the solution(s), making the item, evaluatingit, and presenting the results.(2) When designing an object, it is important to becreative and consider all ideas.(3) Models are used to communicate and test designideas and processes (p. 102).The students had a problem—how to lift a paper clip. Theyelicited the design ideas from a variety of resources, madea pinwheel machine with the recycled materials, and testedthe final project they made.ConclusionThe purpose of the pinwheel machine is to give studentsthe opportunity to take their scientific knowledge and useit to solve a problem that mimics problems encountered byreal engineers. Design challenges of this sort are essentialfor preparing students to tackle real-life problems. Studentsneed to experience the thrills and frustrations that occurwhen trying to succeed at something that seems impossible.A major outcome of technology education in elementaryschools is active learning. Students must keep activelyinvolved in hands-on activities, but more importantly theymust be engaged socially and cognitively. This requiresgiving input, responding to peers, and sharing new thoughtsand ideas. A mighty pinwheel machine activity is anexcellent way to teach the technology content standards,“engineering design” through problem solving, designprocess, and cooperative learning. It leads students to atransfer activity in which they apply what they learnedto real-world problems by building their own pinwheelmachine that can accomplish designated tasks. The studentshave the opportunity to see how the concepts and ideasthey learned connect to real-world problems and solutions.With plenty of curiosity, the students began to learn howto design, build, and test a pinwheel machine that wasneeded to face challenges, similar to the actual efforts facingscientists and engineers in our cities today.STL (2000/2002) notes the engineering-design processrequires creative and critical thinking, the application oftechnical knowledge, and appreciation of the effects ofa design on society and the environment. Through themighty pinwheel machine activity, the students learned theengineering-design process, helping them foster creativeproblem-solving skills. In addition, they were introduced tohands-on technology education activity and encouraged tobecome involved in social interaction with peers. Namely,Elementary School Technology Education (ESTE) createsan exceptional learning environment that brings with it theexcitement of building a pinwheel machine that is applicableto real-world situations. It is hoped that ESTE inspires ahigh level of curiosity, stimulates students' problem-solvingabilities, and gives them a chance to better understand howcareers in science, technology, and engineering relate totheir daily lives.ReferencesInternational Technology Education Association.(2000/2002). Standards for technological literacy: Contentfor the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.LaPorte, J. E., & Sanders, M. (1996). Technology ScienceMathematics (TSM): Connection activity binder. NewYork: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.Lunenburg, F. C. (1998). Constructivism and technology:Instructional designs for successful education reform.Journal of Instructional Psychology, 25(2), 75-81.National Research Council. (1996). National scienceeducation standards. Washington, DC: NationalAcademy Press.Park, K. (2004). The value of technology education toelementary school students’ learning of technologyconcepts and processes: A qualitative investigationof a constructivist perspective. Unpublished doctoraldissertation, The Ohio State University.Zuga, K. F. (2000). Technology education as an integratorof science and mathematics. In G. E. Martin (Ed.),Education for the 21st century, a collection of essays (pp.223-227). Peoria, IL: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.This is a refereed article.Kyungsuk Park is a post-doctoral researcher atKyungpook National University, Daegu, SouthKorea. Kyungsuk can be reached via email McFarland was a fifth/sixth gradescience/technology teacher at Willis IntermediateSchool in Delaware, OH. She can be reached viaemail at • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

Resources in TechnologyAssistive Technology in theClassroomBy David L. Netherton andWalter F. DealThere is a continued need to provideinformation about the availabilityof assistive technology, advancesin improving accessibility andfunctionality of assistive technology,and appropriate methods to secureand utilize assistive technology inorder to maximize the independenceand participation of individuals withdisabilities in society.PerspectiveA new teacher or one who has been on the front lines for anumber of years soon recognizes that not all children learnthe same way or have the same needs for successful learningexperiences. Through undergraduate teacher training or inserviceworkshops, teachers gain useful skills in using technologyto plan, prepare, and provide instruction. Technologyand career and technical education teachers frequently havethe skills, knowledge, and tools to provide successful learningexperiences for children with wide ranges of abilities beyondFigure 1. Most all computers require the use of a pointing devicesuch as a mouse to interact with screen prompts, select andenter data, or execute software processes and operations. The hatshown in the photograph actually has a special Infrared reflectivematerial on the brim that works in conjunction with a smalltransmitting device and software that provides very accuratescreen pointer control. The user just moves his or her head tocontrol the pointer on the computer screen. This enables a personwith poor or no motor control of their hands to interact with acomputer.what may be expected of traditional teachers. However, aswe look at federal and state laws and regulations regardingchildren identified with special needs, we will find thatthere are a number of resources that are available to assistin acquiring or purchasing special technology for classmembers who have unique needs.10 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

It is easy to recognize that computer and informationtechnologies play a major role in business, industry, andeducation. Additionally, communication and informationtechnology has become a required tool for academicachievements and participation in activities. All students,including students with disabilities, need to be able to accessthis technology. As career and technical education teachers,we can use information technologies to create and enhancethe learning experiences.What is Assistive Technology?Assistive technology is any piece of equipment or device thatmay be used by a person with a disability to perform specifictasks, improve functional capabilities, and become moreindependent. It can help redefine what is possible for peoplewith a wide range of cognitive, physical, or sensorydisabilities. (RESNA)Very simply, assistive technology may enable a person with adisability to do something they normally would not be able todo on their own, such as fishing or boating, talking on thephone, opening a drawer, cooking dinner, buttoning a shirt,or reading his or her bank statement. Assistive technologymay include cognitive aids, adaptive toys, communicationaids, alternative computer access, aids to assist with walking,dressing, and other activities, visual aids, or aids to augmenthearing that facilitate activities typically done as part ofdaily living.Figure 2. A low-vision device such as this HumanWare’s SmartView© shown in an assistive technology demonstration lab at OldDominion University, is an example of a video magnifier and canbe used to magnify static and moving objects. The video technologyconsists of a video camera and display device that can be usedto provide magnified vision of printed materials and provide thecapability to “work under the camera” to do manipulative activitiessuch as writing or working with small parts and components.This technology may range from very low-cost, low-techadaptations (such as a “battery interrupter” to make a toyswitch accessible) to high-tech, very expensive devices (suchas a powered wheelchair and environmental controlleroperated by tongue-touch). An example alternative meansof operating a personal computer and interacting withsoftware is the “Natural Point” hands-free alternativemouse-pointing system.People with disabilities may use assistive technology toparticipate in everyday activities encountered in learning,recreation, and work. Assistive technology can helpindividuals become mobile, communicate more effectivelyby seeing and hearing better, and participate more fullyin learning activities. Screen and reading magnifyingtechnologies can be used to magnify computer applicationsand software as well as print physical objects such as shownin Figures 2 and 3. Computer-screen magnifiers allow theuser to “split” a screen into two views—one normal viewalong with a magnified view. The degree of magnification canbe controlled by the user to suit his or her needs. Further,screen magnifiers also may have a full-screen magnificationFigure 3. Frequently, visually impaired individuals can benefitsignificantly with simple visual enhancement tools such ascomputer-screen magnifiers. Screen magnification can becontrolled by the user and configured to magnify areas of a screenor the complete screen with magnifications to about 10X.11 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

What Henry found out was that he needed multiple ways tocommunicate so that he could customize his electronicspeech to fit the setting and the occasion. For a relativelysmall financial investment, Henry and John were able toexpand communication possibilities for Henry and allow himgreater control and personal choice about what he said, howhe said it, and to whom.SummarySubstantial progress has been made in the development ofassistive technology devices, including adaptations toexisting devices that facilitate activities of daily living thatsignificantly benefit individuals with disabilities of all ages.These devices, including adaptations, increase involvementin, and reduce expenditures associated with, programs andactivities that facilitate communication, ensure independentfunctioning, enable early childhood development, supporteducational achievement, provide and enhance employmentoptions, and enable full participation in community living forindividuals with disabilities. Access to such devices can alsoreduce expenditures associated with early childhoodintervention, education, rehabilitation and training, healthcare, employment, residential living, independent living,recreation opportunities, and other aspects of daily living.Technology and career and technical education teachersfrequently have the skills, knowledge, and tools to providesuccessful learning experiences for children with wide rangesof abilities beyond what may be expected of traditionalteachers. Recognizing these needs and using assistivetechnologies can open up new horizons opportunitiesfor students in career and technical education classes.Over the last 15 years, the federal government has investedin the development of comprehensive statewide programs oftechnology-related assistance that have proven effective inassisting individuals with disabilities in accessing assistivetechnology devices and assistive technology services. Thispartnership between the federal government and statesprovided an important service to individuals with disabilitiesby strengthening the capacity of each state to assistindividuals with disabilities of all ages meet their assistivetechnology needs.Despite the success of the federal/state partnership inproviding access to assistive technology devices and assistivetechnology services, there is a continued need to provideinformation about the availability of assistive technology,advances in improving accessibility and functionality ofassistive technology, and appropriate methods to secure andutilize assistive technology in order to maximize theindependence and participation of individuals withdisabilities in society.The combination of significant recent changes in federalpolicy (including changes to section 508 of the RehabilitationAct of 1973 [29 U.S.C. 794d], accessibility provisions of theHelp America Vote Act of 2002 [42 U.S.C. 15301 et seq.],and the amendments made to the Elementary and SecondaryEducation Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.] by the NoChild Left Behind Act of 2001) and the rapid and unendingevolution of technology require a federal/state investment instate assistive technology systems to continue to ensurethat individuals with disabilities reap the benefits of thetechnological revolution and participate fully in life intheir communities.Here are some examples of state assistive technologyprograms:Iowa Program for Assistive Technology (IPAT)Access to information, training, and equipment is critical tomaking the right choices and actually using assistivetechnology. Between 2003 and 2004, IPAT provided 1,464device loans, responded to over 1,000 information requestsper month, and held over 190 training events to provide skilldevelopmenttraining to over 3,200 consumers and serviceproviders. IPAT has a 14-year relationship with the IowaDepartment of Education and the Area Education Agencies(AEA) AT Team. Last year, through a collaborative effort,regular education classroom teachers from each AEA wereprovided training and technical assistance in how to use textreadersoftware with study skills for not only students withIEPs, but for all students in their classrooms.Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT)In program year 2003-04, Pennsylvania’s Initiative onAssistive Technology provided more than 10,000 consumersand family members, service providers, faculty, and otherswith presentations, device demonstrations, training events,and awareness-level activities related to the scope andpotential of assistive technology for persons with disabilitiesand older Pennsylvanians. In SFY 2004, there were morethan 5500 devices shipped from Pennsylvania’s AssistiveTechnology Lending Library (a program run by PIAT withstate support in addition to some federal support) inresponse to almost 4000 individual requests for devices to“try before you buy” (including to more than 1100 first-timeborrowers). In addition, almost $200,000 worth of“previously owned” equipment was either sold or donatedto individuals with disabilities.14 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

Six Concepts To Help You AlignWith NCLBBy Dale Hanson, Darla Burton, andGreg Guam, DTEHow can technology andengineering education surviveand thrive in a time when onlycore subjects seem to be valued?If you are reading this, chances are you have survived thefirst five years of the 2001 reauthorization of theElementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), alsoknown as No Child Left Behind. This legislation hasbeen controversial, evolutionary, and confusing for many. Itsprovisions have spawned numerous school improvementinitiatives and reform. It has also been misunderstood,misapplied, and misinterpreted in ways that were notoriginally intended. Considering the actual legislation isapproximately 1400 pages in length that may be easy to do.The overall goal of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act isto have all students—100 percent—achieving at proficientlevels by 2014. Between now and 2014, states, districts, andschools must take a series of specific steps toward that goal.The law requires that we focus intensively on challengingacademic standards and assessments in reading, math, andscience, accountability for the performance of every child,and the guarantee of a highly qualified teacher in everyclassroom.There are several key components of the legislation thatgreatly affect school districts:• All students at specific grade levels will be assessed todetermine if they are achieving state-determined levels ofproficiency in math and reading. Science assessments willbegin in the 2007-08 school year. Each state negotiates itsproficiency levels with the federal government.• All school districts will be measured against the conceptof adequate yearly progress (AYP), which creates abenchmark for continuous improvement.• AYP must be met not only as a whole school population,but also must be met in each of nine subgroups: gender,racial/ethnic minority (four groups), disability, limitedEnglish proficient, low income/economically disadvantaged,and migrant.• All schools must employ “highly qualified teachers.”All of this can certainly seem overwhelming at best, andthere are many factors that are out of our control. There are,however, several concepts and practices that can assist youin refocusing and solidifying your technology educationprogram to align with NCLB goals. How can technology andengineering education survive and thrive in a time whenonly core subjects seem to be valued? Now is an excellenttime for technology and engineering education teachers tolead and collaborate in showing what is essential for studentsuccess. Here are several concepts and strategies to helpyou succeed.• Concept 1: Accountability is here to stay. NCLB hasevolved considerably since its inception and will continueto evolve to meet its aims. However, the one piece of theAct that has remained constant is that of a level ofaccountability for student achievement. In the pastseveral years there has been a marked increase in thecollection of data used to measure performance. NCLBrequires reports on individual schools that are a part ofannual district report cards, also known as local reportcards. Each school district must prepare and disseminate17 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

annual local report cards that include information onhow students in the district and in each school performedon state assessments. The report cards must state studentperformance in terms of various levels of proficiency inthe areas of: basic, proficient, and advanced. Achievementdata must be disaggregated, or broken out, by thenine previously mentioned student subgroups.Communication of progress between parents, schools,and government is increasing steadily. Schools areinstituting reform models that are tied to the goal ofimproving achievement as measured by AYP.Accountability is paramount to the future of technologyeducation. If you have not done so already, consider thefollowing:♦ Instituting tangible measures of your classoutcomes to the school’s goals (e.g., designassessment instruments such as structuredobservations, checklists, rubrics, or portfolios tomatch the activities the students will use todemonstrate content mastery).♦ Pre and posttesting for specific and generalemployability skills should be considered, alongwith ongoing assessments that indicate theknowledge gained in the tested areas that connectwith the content of respective technology educationcourses.♦ Sustained, value-added technology educationprogramming should be communicated assuccesses to the school board, businesses, andthe community.Measures of progress must be put into action todemonstrate the value added in students’ knowledge andskill development. Is your technology program connected toyour school improvement plan? How are you measuringyour improvement?• Concept 2: Data-based decisions will drive ourcurriculum. As mentioned earlier, schools are dealingwith ever-increasing amounts of data that measureeverything, including student achievement data,demographic data, financial data, community needs data,and school climate data. Administrators are dealing withincreasing pressures to raise achievement and meet local,state, and federal mandates, while, in many casesreducing expenditures at the same time. Understandingthis dynamic may necessitate that teachers have discussionswith administrators to ease these pressures aswell as understand the plans to move forward. This is anexcellent time to advocate for your programs as you beginto understand how you are meeting the school’s needs forimprovement. Think about the following possibilities ofusing data to your advantage:♦ Effective data gathering. Examine how yourdistrict staff and teachers used to gather and sharedata, including student achievement data as well asother organizational data. Then develop bestpractices for gathering and sharing data.♦ Outcome assessments. Districts need to providecontext for the data that they gather. This efforthelps to identify curricular gaps throughassessment results. It also examines how districtassessments are aligned with state standards andwhether professional development is structured tobetter address curricular gaps.♦ Monitoring and feedback. Progressive districtsmonitor the effectiveness of specific programs orefforts, and highlight evidence that shows howdepartments, different sites, and certain programsare performing.♦ Ownership of outcomes. Specific individualsthroughout the district must be held accountablefor the performance of students. Who analyzescurrent measures and assessments? Who isresponsible for the results, and how and whatinterventions are put in place? Determiningownership also includes designing processes forevaluating the effectiveness of these interventions,incentives to achieve desired results, and evidenceof an organizational culture that supports theseefforts.♦ Building a learning organization. Establish theprocesses and behaviors that deliver a performancedrivenculture. Staff and faculty must match thedistrict’s resources to its goals, and then evaluatethe fit between them on an ongoing basis.We are at a point where school and curricular decisionsneed to be made on data and not what our gut tells us.Are you using current and relevant data?• Concept 3: Reading in the content area. One of thebiggest challenges schools face is that the spotlight isshining brightly on the many students who are notable to read at grade level. As new evaluation tools aredeveloped, schools are able to home in on each student’sspecific needs. You may, at this point, say to yourselfthat it looks like the reading and communicationarts instructors have their work cut out for them.You are correct. But this is also a time for technology18 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

and engineering teachers to bring value to the tablethrough reading in the content area. Think about howyou can use the following to enhance your standing:♦ Lexile your class reading material (see below).♦ Assess each student’s lexile level at the beginning ofthe year (do your materials match?).♦ Assess each student’s lexile level at the end of the year.♦ Share this information with your administrator.Reading teachers teach reading in a general context.Technology and engineering teachers have the ability tofocus on students’ reading in the technology andengineering education context. You may say that you arenot a reading teacher, but I will propose that any teacherwho uses written materials teaches reading. The firstthing you can do is understand the concept of lexile anduse it in your classes. A lexile is a measure of textdifficulty based on semantic difficulty (word frequency)and syntactic complexity (sentence length). A lexilescale indicates the range at which a student is mostlikely to comprehend material with 75% accuracy. Thecorrelations to reading at a grade level are given inranges. There is not a specific lexile measure to a specificgrade level. Additional information is available ScaleProficientLexile Scale Range1 100-4002 300-6003 500-8004 600-9005 700-10006 800-10507 850-11008 900-11509 1000-120010 1025-125011 1050-1300You are now able to ensure that your text materials areappropriate to your age group. has a largedatabase that allows materials to be lexiled to a graderange. Reading technology education materials can assiststudents in improving their overall reading skills if thematerials are interesting and engaging as well as properlyleveled. High touch has historically been a hallmark ofsuccessful technology education programs, but in thisnew era, interesting, rigorous, and relevant reading intechnology and engineering will take on increasedimportance. An analysis of entry-level jobs has foundthem to have higher reading requirements than manyhigh school tests required for graduation. States need tobe sure that the proficiency levels they set under NCLBreflect not just traditional measures of academic readingcompetence, but also the larger picture of employabilityand life after graduation. Reading competency is anexample of the academics that we must emphasize intechnology and engineering education. What can you doto further your students’ reading skills in your classes?• Concept 4: Integration and collaboration with coresubjects strengthens technology and engineeringeducation and the core subjects. Technology andengineering education have always enjoyed their status ascoursework that applies the learning in the core academicclasses. The contextual learning in our classes has beenan important link to students’ transition to postsecondaryopportunities. The “aha!” that students getwhen they apply math, science, English, or social studiesconcepts has been witnessed by most all technologyeducators. A comparison of content standards in coreareas to the technology standards will find somecommonality in goals. For example, if you are teachingscaling techniques in architecture, you are teaching ratiosin mathematics. Technology education overlaps a greatdeal in the science and mathematics areas. With theadvent of curriculum mapping programs, it is becomingeasier to coordinate with other subjects when conceptsare taught. An example of a curriculum mapping productcan be found at It is alsoimportant to advocate for core academic teachers toimplement technology-applied learning into theircurriculum. As mentioned previously, this is anopportunity to realize the efficiency of curriculummapping.Consider the following strategies for integration andcollaboration:♦ Curriculum mapping♦ Continue to build relationships and show connectionswith core content19 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

Are you looking for connections to other content areasand looking for efficiencies in delivering your content?• Concept 5: Contextual learning in technology andengineering education connects students to the realworld. The world of work is changing and so is the worldof technology and engineering education. The world has“flattened,” and a significant shift is occurring betweencareers that are growing and those becoming vulnerableto global competition. Here are some opportunities toexpand this area:♦ Focus on multiple pathways for our students toconnect with current educational and workopportunities vs. training for entry-level positions.♦ Initiate articulation agreements with technical, twoandfour-year colleges to enhance your programs, givestudents a boost to their postsecondary career, andendear parents.♦ Consider the possibility of leading your school in thecreation of a career academy focusing on technologyeducation postsecondary opportunities and careers.Are you opening the minds of your student population sothey can learn concepts and techniques that will opendoors of opportunity for them throughout their lives?• Concept 6: Communicating technology andengineering education’s value in supporting NCLB.Now that you understand the Act, are using data tomeasure and improve achievement, have focused onreading skill and level in technology and engineeringeducation, collaborated and integrated with coresubjects, and continue to maintain currency of yourprogram, it is time to share with your administration andcommunity just how well positioned your program is tosucceed in supporting No Child Left Behind. Considerdoing the following:♦ Continue to build positive relationships with youradministration and school board and share yourefforts and successes.♦ Present your best practices to community groups,such as the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, advisorygroups, etc.♦ Share with parents by holding or participating in yourschool’s open house to showcase student work andachievements.♦ Celebrate excellence and continue to show studentsthe value and application of success in other contentareas.There are many who say that “if your course isn’t testedunder NCLB, it will become extinct.” We firmly believethe opposite to be true. Now is the time for technologyand engineering educators to step up and become “thecomplete package” by integrating and applying corevalues and content. We believe that we have always donethese well as a field, but it is time to show our value withdata. By supporting reading, integration, and contextuallearning, you will be of high value in your school. It isvital to understand that, if we reject the concepts ofaccountability and data-based decision making, and if wedecide to teach in isolation, reductions and possibleelimination of technology and engineering programscould result.ReferencesLearning First Alliance. The No Child Left Behind Act: KeyProvisions and Timelines. Stronger Accountability – Questions and Answerson No Child Left Behind. What is Contextual Learning (2005). (2001). Using Standardized Test Data to ImproveInstruction in Career-Technical Education: A Perspectivefor Practitioners. C. Panettieri (Feb., 2006). Special Series Part 1 - DataDriven. (, Willard: The Future of Career and TechnicalEducation White Paper. http://daggett.comDale Hanson is the Director of Career andTechnical Education and InstructionalTechnology for the Appleton Area SchoolDistrict in Appleton, Wisconsin. He can bereached at hansondale@aasd.k12.wi.usDarla Burton is the School to WorkSupervisor for the Cooperative EducationalService Agency (CESA) #3 serving Careerand Technical educators in SouthwestWisconsin. She can be reached at Quam, DTE is the Career andTechnical Education Coordinator for thePlatteville School District in Platteville,Wisconsin. He can be reached at • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

ITEA Member Receives DisneyTeacher AwardITEA member Douglas Dillion, a middle schooltechnology education teacher at Honey Creek MiddleSchool in Terre Haute, Indiana, was chosen frommore than 75,000 nominees nationwide to receivethe 2006 Disney Teacher Award in celebration of hiscreativity, innovative teaching methods, and ability toinspire his students.Their peers—representatives of leading educationalassociations from across the United States and formerDisney Teacher Honorees, select Disney Teacher Honorees.The process includes letters of recommendation from one ofthe teacher’s administrators and one from either a student orparent. Each nominee must also answer four essay questionsabout classroom practice and environment, creativity whilefollowing accountability guidelines, collaboration to improvestudents’ success, and events that have shaped them as ateacher. Honorees come from every subject field and everylevel of PreK-12 teaching. Dillion is one of three Honoreesbeing recognized for applied fields education.As one of only 44 Disney Teacher Honorees, Dillion received$10,000 from Disney and a trip to the Disneyland Resort inAnaheim, California for a week of fun and celebration. Inaddition, Disney awards $5,000 to Honey Creek MiddleSchool. The Disney Teacher Awards do not simply honor oneteacher; they also make an investment in that teacher’seducational community. During the week of celebratoryevents in Anaheim, five exceptional teachers will be chosenfrom the 44 Honorees. Four Outstanding Teachers and oneDisney Teacher of the Year will receive an additional $15,000from Disney.In addition to the monetary awards, Disney will also flyDillion and his principal to the Walt Disney World Resort inOrlando in October for a six-day professional developmentinstitute where they can refine their own innovative teachingapproaches by sharing ideas and learn how to engage otherteachers to build an effective collaborative teaching culture attheir school. Once they return, Dillion and his principal willwork with experts from the Center for Collaborative Educationin Boston to design a school-wide plan for makingteaching more effective.Typical me while my students are working hard.Dillion will take a leadership role, educating his fellowteachers in the creative techniques that have made him sosuccessful at connecting with students. “I plan to useDisney’s professional development to help create morestandards-based activities that encourage higher-levelcognitive skills and don’t depend on textbooks,” said Dillion.22 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

Some of my students acting like me.Creativity is key in Dillion’s classroom. “Tech Town USA ismy most popular activity. Students and their parents startout with homework that gets the parents involved. Thestudents use this homework as research to design theirhouse. They then build a scale model, where creativity isencouraged,” he explained. “Finally, they become a realtorand create a realty sheet with price, taxes, size, andpersuasive descriptions.” The Tech Town USA program hashelped Dillion forge a relationship with the Indiana BuildersAssociation, Home Builders Institute, and the NationalAssociation of Home Builders.Douglas Dillion is now forming a foundation to assist middlelevel technology education and high school career andtechnology education programs. Initially he hopes to workwith Indiana Department of Education technology educationspecialist and fellow ITEA member, Mike Fitzgerald, tocontinue to develop technology education curriculumcrosswalks activities and then offer standards-based trainingopportunities for the technology education teachers inIndiana. “Though the initial focus of the foundation will be inIndiana,” Dillion said, “It is my hope to continue to fosterpositive relationships with industry and grow this foundationuntil it can benefit schools, students, and teachers,nationwide.”Serious working hard.23 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

Approaches to AssessingTechnological LiteracyBy Greg PearsonNational Academy of EngineeringThe challenge of developingassessments for students,teachers, and out-of-schooladults in a content area ascomplex and relatively unknownas technological literacy willbe significant.Some 18 months ago, I spoke before a group of severalhundred high-achieving high school students fromaround the world who were visiting Washington, DCas part of a program called Presidential Classroom( I chose to talk abouttechnological literacy, since the students’ week in DC wasfocused on science and technology policy. I began with aninteractive quiz. I flashed the following question on thescreen at the front of the auditorium: “When you hear theword ‘technology,’ the first thing that comes to mind is‘___________.’” After five seconds, I asked those who hadthought of “computer” or “computers” to raise their hands.Well over half the group did so.Two recent Gallup polls (ITEA 2001, 2004) had asked thesame question, and nearly 70 percent of respondents alsosaid computers. But participants in those surveys wereadults with no particular interest or training in science andtechnology. This auditorium was filled with teenagers with akeen interest in these subjects. Was their view of technologyreally so narrow? If it was, what did that suggest? Did itsimply reflect the omnipresence of computers and computerdrivendevices in these youngsters’ lives? Was it a reflectionon how we treat (or fail to treat) the topic of technologyin our schools? How might this limited conception oftechnology affect these kids’ understanding of other, relatedissues, such as engineering, innovation, and the nation’sR&D enterprise?The unfortunate truth is that we know very little aboutwhat children or adults know, can do, and believe abouttechnology. This is because the state of assessment relatedto technology—or, better, technological literacy—is in itsinfancy. That, at least, is the conclusion of the Committee onAssessing Technological Literacy, a study panel appointedby the National Academy of Engineering and the NationalResearch Council. The 16-person committee, chaired byDartmouth College engineering professor and NAE memberElsa Garmire, spent over two years examining the status andprospects for assessment of technological literacy. Its report,Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy,was published in July. (The report can be viewed online andcopies purchased through the National Academies Press, addition to Garmire, the panel included experts inlearning and cognition, assessment, informal education,opinion-survey research, and K-12 education reform. Threeon the committee—Rod Custer (Illinois State University), BillDugger (ITEA Technology for All Americans Project), andMarc DeVries (Eindhoven University, The Netherlands)—represented technology education.24 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

The goal of the project was to determine the most viableapproach or approaches for assessing technological literacyin three distinct populations in the United States: K-12students, K-12 teachers, and out-of-school adults (the“general public”). The National Science Foundation-fundedproject had two specific objectives:• Assess the opportunities and obstacles to developing oneor more scientifically valid and broadly useful assessmentinstruments for technological literacy in the three targetpopulations.• Recommend possible approaches to be used in carryingout such assessments, including the specification ofsubtest areas and actual sample test items representing avariety of item formats.In this article, I will describe in general outline the contentsof the report, and I will treat in some detail several topicsthat may be of particular relevance to technology education.Two important clarifications are needed up front. First, theproject was not aimed at developing an actual assessmentinstrument. The committee did review a number of existingassessment tools, however. Second, the focus of the projectwas on assessment on a scale larger than the individualclassroom—as assessment might be done across an entireschool, school district, state, or the nation. In other words,the committee did not consider how a teacher might developan appropriate test for a specific course, lesson, or project.One source of assessment advice for classroom teachersis Measuring Progress: A Guide to Assessing Students forTechnological Literacy (ITEA, 2004).Because the report will be read by many people notfamiliar with the broad view of technology that underpinsthe idea of technological literacy, the committee spentconsiderable effort defining technology and making the casefor technological literacy and its assessment. To make thestrongest case for raising the level of technological literacy,one must first show that the present level is low. This is verydifficult to do without a good measure of technologicalliteracy. The report notes that until technological literacy isassessed in a rigorous, systematic way, it is not likely to beconsidered a priority by policy makers, educators, or averagecitizens.The report argues that the development of assessmentsof technological literacy will benefit a number of groups.One of the most obvious beneficiaries will be the formaleducationcommunity. As more and more states movetoward adopting technology education standards for K-12File Photostudents (Meade and Dugger, 2004), schools will have tomeasure how well they are implementing those standards.Assessments will provide a gauge of how effectively schoolspromote technological literacy and an indication of whereimprovements can be made. And for K-12 students tobecome technologically literate, their teachers must alsobecome technologically literate. Many other institutions andorganizations—such as media outlets, museums, governmentagencies, and associations that represent industries—wouldbenefit from knowing the level of technological literacy oftheir customers, patrons, or target audiences.For readers not familiar with the field of assessment, thereport includes a primer on assessment terminology andmethods. For similar reasons, the report presents basicinformation about aspects of cognition and learning sciencethat are relevant to test design. And because design is sucha central feature of technology and of technological literacy,the committee suggested that following a design processwill be helpful to those tackling the task of developingassessments. The report explicitly discusses the conceptsof criteria, constraints, and trade-offs in the context of testdevelopment.A key element in the design of assessments for manysubjects, such as mathematics and science, is creation of25 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

KNOWLEDGECognitive dimensionscapabilitiesCRITICAL THINKINGANDDECISION MAKINGTECHNOLOGY ANDSOCIETYContent AreasDESIGNPRODUCTS ANDSYSTEMSCHARACTERIStics,core concepts,and connectionsTable 1. Proposed Assessment Matrix for Technological Literacya so-called conceptual framework. Frameworks describethe main ideas to be tested, suggest the cognitive abilitiesrequired, and propose how test items are to be allocatedaccording to the various areas of content, item types, andstudent grade levels. This is the process followed by theNational Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP),which conducts large-scale national assessments, as well asby most states, and it is one endorsed by the committee fortechnological literacy. Tech Tally does not contain an actualframework; this work will need to be done by others. Butthe report does propose a way of organizing the content oftechnology and the cognitive dimensions of technologicalliteracy (Table 1). The content areas are derived from ITEA’sStandards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study ofTechnology (ITEA, 2000/2002), and the cognitive dimensionsare adapted from Technically Speaking: Why All AmericansNeed to Know More About Technology (NAE and NRC, 2002).As part of its research, the committee collected and reviewed28 assessment instruments that in one way or anothertouched on technological literacy, even if that was not theirexplicit aim. Not surprisingly, the majority of instruments—about half—targeted students; a third focused on whatout-of-school adults know and believe about technology;and just two were aimed at discerning what teachers knowand can do. A handful of the student assessments weredeveloped by technology educators (Pearson, 2004). Overall,the committee found that none of the collected instrumentswere adequate to the task of assessing technological literacyas described in Technically Speaking. This is not surprising,since the view of literacy presented in Technically Speakingdid not directly inform any of the collected instruments.The committee noted that the paucity of appropriateassessments should not be seen as evidence that assessmentsof technological literacy cannot be developed.The challenge of developing assessments for students,teachers, and out-of-school adults in a content area ascomplex and relatively unknown as technological literacy willbe significant. Tech Tally suggests two main areas ofopportunity: integrating technology-related questions intoexisting assessments in other subject areas, such as science;and creating de novo assessments devoted exclusively totechnological literacy. For students, the committeerecommended that technology items be added to the NAEPscience, mathematics, and history assessments and theinternational comparative Trends in Mathematicsand Science Study and Programme for InternationalStudent Assessment. The committee charged the NSFwith funding research to design and test stand-aloneassessments for students.The report suggests that all teachers, not just technologyteachers, be assessed in some way for their technologicalsavvy. The committee recommended that provisions relatedto teacher quality in the federal No Child Left Behind Actbe used to introduce technology-related items for teachersof mathematics, science, history/social studies. Tech Tallycalls on NSF and the Department of Education to developnew, sample-based assessments of preservice and in-serviceteachers—including technology educators—and it says theresults of such testing should be disseminated to schools of26 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

education, curriculum developers, state boards of education,and other groups involved in teacher preparation and teacherquality. In sample-based assessment, individual test scorestypically are not reported. The committee recognized thatthis last recommendation could face resistance from teachersand teacher unions concerned about privacy and the misuseof test data.One issue not directly addressed in the report relates tothe question of how technology teachers might stack upagainst teachers of other subjects if all were given the sameassessment. Depending on the results, the outcome ofsuch a comparison could either be very positive or verynegative for the field of technology education. A reasonableassumption is that technology teachers are, by virtue of theirtraining, among the most technologically literate of K-12teachers. The only assessment instrument examined by thecommittee that probed technological knowledge of teachers,the Praxis exam, did little more than require identificationof basic concepts and definition of terms, according to thecommittee. If an assessment were developed that addressedhigher-order thinking and problem solving, even technologyeducators might find themselves challenged.Tech Tally, like other reports, suggests that there is adearth of information about precisely how people learntechnological concepts. A clear idea of the cognitiveprocesses involved in learning is crucial to the developmentof assessments and the interpretation of the results (NRC,2001). The committee made several recommendationsintended to spur new research in this area, including callingon NSF to support graduate and postgraduate researchrelated to how students and teachers learn technology andengineering concepts.Altogether, the report makes twelve recommendationsaddressing five areas: instrument development, research onlearning, computer-based assessment methods, frameworkdevelopment, and public perceptions of technology. It is anambitious agenda that will require sustained effort by manystakeholders to be carried out successfully.Tech Tally notes that the impetus for technological literacyis a desire that all citizens be empowered to functionconfidently and productively in our technology-dependentsociety. If we could assess technological knowledge,capability, and critical thinking skills in a rigorous andsystematic way, it argues, we could track trends amongstudents, teachers, and out-of-school adults. Reliableinformation would enable policy makers, educators, thebusiness community, and others to take steps to improvethe situation if necessary. Movement toward a moretechnologically literate society would then be directedand purposeful, governed by data rather than anecdotalevidence and educated guesses. Over a period of manyyears, with considerable investment of human and financialresources, the benefits of technological literacy wouldbe realized.ReferencesITEA (International Technology Education Association).2000/2002. Standards for technological literacy: Contentfor the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.ITEA. 2001. ITEA/Gallup poll reveals what Americans thinkabout technology. A report of the survey conducted by theGallup Organization for the International TechnologyEducation Association. Available online at (October 5,2005).ITEA. 2004. The second installment of the ITEA/Galluppoll and what it reveals as to how Americans think abouttechnology. A report of the second survey conducted bythe Gallup Organization for the International TechnologyEducation Association. Available online at: (October5, 2005).ITEA. 2004. Measuring progress: A guide to assessing studentsfor technological literacy. Reston, VA: Author.Meade, S.D. & Dugger, W.E., Jr. 2004. Reporting on thestatus of technology education in the United States. TheTechnology Teacher. 63(2): 29-35.NAE and NRC (National Academy of Engineering andNational Research Council). 2002. Technically speaking:Why all americans need to know more about technology.Washington, DC: National Academies Press.NRC. 2001. The Science and Design of EducationalAssessment. Pp. 44-51 in Knowing What Students Know.Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Pearson, G. 2004. Assessment of technological literacy: ANational Academies perspective. The Technology Teacher63(7): 28-29.Greg Pearson is a program officer at the National Academy ofEngineering, where he directs activities related to technologicalliteracy and the public understanding of engineering. He was studydirector for the project discussed in this article. He can be reachedvia email at • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

in their classrooms. Each unit started with the Content/Methodology component of the CART method. Thiscomponent was used to introduce the students todifferent teaching methods and the content of thetransportation unit.The instructors then presented a content-related Activityto the content to the students, demonstrating the teachingmethod discussed in the first component. At the conclusionof the activity, the students were given their first reflectionof the unit. The students were given the following two mainquestions to answer for the unit activity: What were thestrengths and weaknesses of this lesson? and What wouldyou change about the lesson? Other questions were alsoadded to the activity depending on the material covered inthe lesson. These questions were answered on paper andturned in to the instructors.Once the students had completed this assignment, the classmoved on to the Reflection component of the unit. Thiscomponent was often an informal discussion about theenduring understandings, teaching methods, interdisciplinarysubjects, and the strengths and weaknesses ofthe lesson; the students were encouraged to freely voice theiropinion of the lesson. This discussion allowed the students totalk about the strengths and weaknesses of the lesson as wellas providing them an opportunity to discover ways to adjusta lesson to improve the overall design.completed, the class would move to the next unit and repeatthe entire process.Instructor ReflectionWith the changes made to the curriculum for the course, itwas important to be able to judge the outcome of thestudent performance. Since this was a new teachingapproach, I also wanted to rate my personal performance asthe instructor. I rated myself on a scale from 1-10, with onebeing a poor performance and ten an excellent performance.By keeping a reflective journal of each day’s lesson, I had theability to see what I did well and what I still needed to workon to better assist in student learning. Figure 1 is a samplepage of the reflection journal I created for the course.The journal helped me to become a better instructor for thecourse; the more I reflected, the better I was able to meetthe students’ needs. The personal reflection helped theThe final component, Team Teaching/Reflection, providedthe students an opportunity to develop and implement alesson related to the transportation unit. Much like theActivity component, the student lesson plan included areflection component for their peers to fill out about thestrengths and weaknesses of the lesson. The team-teachinggroup also had to submit a personal reflection of the lessonbased on a series of three questions. The questions were:What do you think are some of the positives and negativesof using a cooperative learning approach? How did yourteam decide to incorporate an interdisciplinary approach?and How would you incorporate what you learneddeveloping and delivering this lesson into your teaching?Before the unit was concluded, the class would againparticipate in an informal discussion about the enduringunderstandings, teaching methods, interdisciplinarysubjects, and the weaknesses and strengths of the teamteachinglesson. This allowed the class to continue thinkingabout how they would implement material into theirclassrooms and how they might improve the lesson forfuture classes. Once this reflection component wasFigure 1. Sample page.29 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

course run much more smoothly toward the end of thesemester. I also learned a lot about myself as a person and asa teacher. The journal was extremely useful after both theReflection and Team Teaching/Reflection components. Iwould enter much of the information the students presentedin class into the journal to help me improve the lesson forthe next class.Teacher TipsAlthough this method was used in a teacher-preparatorycourse, this reflective approach could easily be implementedat any level. Have the students in your class complete a oneminutepaper about what they liked and disliked about thelesson, what they learned and did not learn during thelesson. While students are completing their papers, askyourself a series of general questions about the lesson andstudent performances. These questions could include: Howwell do you feel the students understood the conceptspresented in class? Did the lesson go as planned? Why orwhy not? and What changes would I make the next time Iteach this lesson? Keep a journal/binder with the studentcomments and your own thoughts on the lesson/unit. Byhaving these reflections on hand, you will be able to adjustthe unit easily to improve student performance.Cynthia Evans received her MS in TechnologyEducation in December 2005 and has accepteda teaching position at Evanston TownshipHigh School in Evanston, IL for the 2006-2007school year. She can be reached via email toyour future!OnlineMasters & BachelorsTechnology Education Programs• Completely online• Based on the Standards forTechnological Literacy• Includes hand-on activities• Master of Education• Bachelor of Science inEducation• Designed for certificationFOR MORE INFORMATION:http://teched.vcsu.eduteched@vcsu.edu800-532-8641Ad IndexAutodesk.........................................................C-4Department of DefenseEducation Activity.........................................5Forest T. Jones GEICO.................................C-3Goodheart-Willcox Publisher...................... 21Hearlihy............................................................ 37Kelvin Electronics........................................... 36Mastercam.....................................................C-2PTC........................................................................iSolidWorks....................................................... 38Tech Ed Concepts, Inc................................... 37Valley City State University.......................... 3030 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

Super Mileage Challenge:Combining Education and Fun!By Jim Thompson andMike FitzgeraldThe Super Mileage Challengeteaches students to research,design, and constructfuturistic vehicles whileapplying advanced topics inmath, science, technology,and engineering.Super Mileage participants.IntroductionWith the rising price of fuel and increased concerns for theenvironment, achieving maximum gas mileage continues tobe a very important topic. Today, in an exciting studentcompetition, Indiana students seek solutions by applyingtechnology, innovation, design, and engineering. IMSTEA,the organization sponsoring the event, is a non-profit, allvolunteerorganization dedicated to improving themathematics, science, and technological literacy andcompetency of all Hoosiers. It was founded in 1990 andcontinues to pursue this goal today.Beginning in 1996, key leaders in Indiana business,education, and industry, along with the Department ofEducation and the Indiana Math Science TechnologyEducation Alliance recognized that creating an event thatwould showcase true integration of mathematics, science,and technology could make learning more relevant to thelives of students. The result is the highly successful IndianaSuper Mileage Challenge.The SMC is a high school competition providing studentswith the unique opportunity to combine theoretical aspectsof mathematics, science, and technology with practicalexperience in the design, engineering, fabrication, andtesting of an actual vehicle. For the past 11 years, studentsfrom across Indiana have been “challenged” by the SMC.They work throughout the school year to design, build, andimprove vehicles. They then test the prototypes incompetition each year at the NHRA’s O’Reilly Raceway Parkoval. This highly competitive event features innovativestudent solutions for achieving optimum mpg. Student teamsdesign a one-person, fuel-efficient car powered by a singlecylinder, four-cycle engine. The 2006 Unlimited ClassChampion is William Henry Harrison High School, ofLafayette, Indiana whose team achieved 1060.30 mpg. The31 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

Stock Class Champion was Mater Dei High School ofEvansville, Indiana with 1241.76 mpg.It All Begins in the FallEach year the SMC season begins with a letter of intent toparticipate that is sent to schools across the state. Theresponding schools are sent a copy of SMC rules anddirections to the IMSTEA website at Theyare also offered guidance (especially needed by new teams)on how to get started. Finally, the schools are provided withthe deadlines for submission of design proposals, thetentative date of the event, and any other necessary technicalsupport that may be needed.Often, a new team may want to visit an experienced teamnear their school for help. This is often the best way to start.A mentor team can provide much support. New teams oftenlearn that guidance and assistance from mentors can be veryvaluable in building a successful entry.Schools may have up to two entries each year, one in thestock class and one in the unlimited class. The stock class isbased on engines provided by Briggs & Stratton Corporation.The engines are then sealed by IMSTEA officials. Theunlimited class allows schools to modify the engine as longas it meets certain specifications. IMSTEA rules governingthe cars and allowable modifications are provided in therules package sent to each school. Many schools competewith both a stock-class vehicle and an unlimited-classvehicle. It is important to note that a school may not electto enter into the unlimited class until after they havesuccessfully competed in the stock class for one year.Working Through the WinterAfter schools have elected to participate, the portfolio seasonstarts during the fall and the early winter months. Teamsbegin the design, marketing, and construction of theirvehicles. Some schools do their work as part of theircurriculum, whereas most conduct the work as a cocurricularor club activity. Students work to learn the rules,gain sponsorships, research, locate parts, and learn how todesign in CAD or 3-D CAD programs, and most importantly,how to document their work through a design proposal.The design portfolios/proposals serve two purposes. First,the portfolios provide the necessary information anddocumentation needed by the IMSTEA competitioncommittee in order to determine that the vehicle designconforms to the rules. Second, the design proposal ensuresthat the entry is a result of a genuine design effort by teams.During the winter months, the teams design and constructmany of the basic systems and subsystems. The designproposal requires that the student teams document thefollowing:♦ Vehicle design concept♦ Frame/chassis♦ Body♦ Drive train♦ Braking system♦ Steering system♦ Safety systems♦ Aerodynamics♦ Cornering forces♦ Braking distance calculations♦ Rolling friction calculation♦ Performance prediction♦ Accessories and instrumentation♦ Cost estimate/bill of materialsPortfolio ReviewIn mid winter the IMSTEA Executive CompetitionCommittee meets to review the portfolios. The team,representing business, industry, and education, studieseach portfolio to determine if the conceptual design meetsthe minimum requirements of the competition. Thoseproposals meeting the requirements are approved as writtenor approved pending submittal of clarification inquestionable areas.The reviewing team recognizes that the proposals are for adesign concept and that often the concept may not reflect thevehicle as it is actually built. The SMC rules require teams topresent documentation of changes from the original conceptat the time of technical inspection. The more experiencedteams often begin construction of their vehicles prior tosubmitting their portfolios since the rules do not changesignificantly from year to year. Technical inspection insuresthat the teams are in compliance with the rules prior to participationin the event at Indianapolis O’Reilly Raceway Park.During the portfolio review, the most prestigious awards ofBest Integration of Math, Science, and Technology and theBest Design Proposal are determined. IMSTEA’s intent sincethe beginning has been to emphasize what the students learnas much as what mileage their team achieves. Often theteams with the best mpg are also the teams with the bestdesign portfolios. The teams finish the winter months bypreparing for technical inspection, which is held the daybefore the event at Vincennes University’s AviationTechnology hanger at the Indianapolis International Airport.32 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

Technical InspectionThe day before the event, participating schools presenttheir cars for a thorough technical inspection to verifyconformance with the rules of the competition and to insurethe vehicle is safe for operation on the track. For the past twoyears, Vincennes University has hosted this part of thecompetition and provided a dinner for the participants.Vincennes University is also a major financial sponsor for theSuper Mileage Challenge. Items inspected include:♦ Braking system – for ability to stop the car in therequired distance.♦ Stability – to test the ability of the car to withstand thebanking at the track.♦ Emergency exit – to insure the driver can exit the carquickly in the event of an accident.♦ Safety equipment – mirrors, fire extinguisher,ventilation, kill switches, etc.♦ Turning radius – to insure the car can maneuverproperly.♦ Helmets – for conformance to national standards.♦ Conformance to rules – frame and body construction,engine modifications, steering system, etc.Cars successfully completing this inspection are given asticker certifying that they meet technical and safetystandards. No car is allowed on the track without this sticker.For the past two years, Vincennes University has providedstaff from the school of technology and the aviationtechnology center for the technical inspection.Race DayCompetition starts early at Indianapolis O’Reilly RacewayPark. Drivers and crew chiefs must attend a mandatorysafety meeting at 7:30 a.m., and the track is opened for runsat 8:00 a.m. Each run lasts 10 laps at an average of 15 milesper hour or higher. Most cars try to come as close to theminimum 15 mph speed as possible. Fuel tanks are weighedbefore and after each run, and the weight difference is usedto calculate the mileage. Teams may make as many runs asthey wish during the day, and the best three attempts areaveraged for their official score.In 2006, 49 schools submitted entries for the challenge, and38 schools brought 45 cars to the event. The field included 35Indiana high schools, one high school from Illinois, and twocollege entries. The college entries were not eligible forawards. There were 27 cars in the stock class and 18 in theunlimited class. Eleven schools created cars for both classes.Awards were given to the team with the best score in the raceas well as for best integration of mathematics, science, andtechnology into the design and construction of the vehicle,best design, craftsmanship, sportsmanship, teamwork, andclosest to estimated performance.ConclusionsEach year the teachers and students rate their participationin the Super Mileage Challenge as one of the best learningexperiences of their high school years. Alumni of this eventoften go on to pursue engineering, technical, or scientificdegrees in college. The skills that students gain throughparticipating in the Super Mileage Challenge are hard tomeasure. Not only do students learn how to apply math,science, technology, and engineering, they also learnteamwork, problem solving, and leadership skills. TheIMSTEA Super Mileage Challenge helps aim students todayfor the careers and challenges of tomorrow.Jim Thompson is the President of IMSTEA. Hecan be reached via email at Fitzgerald is a Technology EducationSpecialist with the Indiana Department ofEducation. He can be reached via email Resources• Indiana Math Science Technology Education Alliance Web• 2006 IMSTEA SMC Slide• 2006 IMSTEA Super Mileage Challenge Results• IMSTEA Super Mileage Challenge• Senator Richard G. Lugar, United States Senate IMSTEA SMC Website Resources• Winamac High School:• Mishawaka High School:• Albany Area Schools:• Bosse High School:• Delta High School:• Ensweiler Academy Super Mileage Challenge:• Mishawaka High School: • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

Super Mileage Challenge: Combining Education and Fun!34 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

35 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

AttentionElementary Educators!Sign up for a one-year subscriptionto ITEA’s award-winningelementary journal, Technologyand Children, and receive onefree copy of KITS (Kids InventingTechnology Series)that includes five activity guidesthat supplement STL throughthe use of classroom activities.Technology and Children is publishedfour times each schoolyear and is PACKED with practical,innovative, and creativearticles and activities for theelementary school teacher.One year subscription prices:USA: Members - $25/yearForeign: Members - $35/yearElectronic: $20/yearAct now to receive these excellentresources to help makeyour elementary classroom thebest it can be! Call 703-860-2100 and mention Promo Code0906TC. Offer expires 9/30/06.36 • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

Back to School SpecialIs yourBack toSchoolworkloadstressingyou out?It doesn’thave to!ITEA can help!Special Offer for the Month of September:Realizing Excellence:Structuring Technology ProgramsThis resource offers educators practicalsuggestions and hands-on tools for planning,developing, implementing, and evaluatingstandards-based technology programs.for the incredible price of $15.00, plus shipping!As a bonus, each order will be shipped with afree copy ofTechnology for All Americans: A Rationaleand Structure for the Study of TechnologyStart yourschoolyear offright!This offer expires on September 30, 2006.Call 703-860-2100 TODAY and mention code 0906.GCC LaserProLaser Engraver / CuttersTake Your ClassroomTo TheCuttingEdgeAvailable Exclusively From: • The Technology Teacher • September 2006

GEICO could save you $500a year on car insurance.Wouldn’t thathelp yourbottom line?Special memberdiscountITEA members could receive a special discount on GEICO car insurance.Visit for your free rate quote and be sure to select ITEA whenasked for your affiliation.GEICO offers you:• Outstanding, 24-hour service online or on the phone.• Fast, fair claim handling.• Guaranteed claim repairs at GEICO-recommended shops.To find out how much you could savevisit or call 1-800-368-2734 today.Average savings information based on GEICO New Policyholder Survey data through August 2005.Discount amount varies in some states. Some discounts, coverages, payment plans, and features are not available in all states or in all GEICO companies. One group discountapplicable per policy. Government Employees Insurance Co. • GEICO General Insurance Co. • GEICO Indemnity Co. • GEICO Casualty Co. These companies are subsidiaries of Berkshire HathawayInc. GEICO auto insurance is not available in Mass. GEICO, Washington, DC 20076. © 2005 GEICO

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