It is good to see the new draft of the Technological Literacy Framework for the 2012 National Assessment of Educational Progress finally getting people’s attention. I first saw what this draft would contain at the NECC 2009 conference . It can fundamentally change how we use technology in education in this country therefore the stakes are high. As one school administrator in Maryland says about their state’s current technology assessment, “what gets measured gets done,”
The more I look at this draft and study it’s implications, the more I see technology literacy becoming what the Americas were many years ago; new land for colonization by foreign powers. There are numerous players involved in creating this draft and the draft reflects that diversity of content. The assessment of technology literacy is becoming a land grab for power and influence over curriculum, rather than what it should be; an effective measure of technology literacy of our students.
Any student of history knows colonialism wasn’t all bad and the natives, colonists, and their home countries did all benefit from colonization, but it had many unintended consequences. The unintended consequence of this draft is that it may alter integration as the primary means of acquiring technology literacy by students because the draft includes a lot of content and seems to promote the idea of sequentially developing skills and understandings rather than focusing on critical and creative thinking skills.
Certainly the parties who are participating in the the creation of the draft are benevolent in their intent, but like any matter that becomes politicized, it becomes less about concept and more about the power of influence. That is why the draft is exactly what it shouldn’t be a cornucopia of diverse opinions about what technology literacy is, rather than a narrow focused document that takes a stand about the need to promote critical and creative thinking (the real 21st century skills) rather than a lot of content for content’s sake.