Just as we in the US are debating how to use technology in schools, and how to teach 21st century skills, conversations are going on around the world.
The European Union has just finished a study recommending what to measure about schools' use of technology. From the report, Europe seems to be coalescing around developing tests to measure schools' technology around the following:
- Infrastructure. This concerns issues like hardware and software and within these sub-issues such as access to the Internet, broadband connections, open source software.
- Curriculum and content. This covers issues such as pedagogical approach (e.g. autonomous learning), content (e.g. development of methods), assessment (e.g. portfolio’s, digital drivers license)
- Outcomes and attitudes, e.g. competencies, digital literacy.
- School leadership, e.g. change management.
- Connectedness, e.g. national and/or international cooperation, public-private partnerships.
- Teacher training, e.g. teacher competencies, pedagogical drivers license.
- Support, e.g. the way and extent to which technical and/or pedagogical support is made available.
- Transversal issues, e.g. equity, financing, safety.
They are calling for an immediate improvement in the testing conducted by the OECD. In the intermediate term, they are recommending a new assessment framework. And in the long term (3+ years) they are recommendation building a system to monitor educational change.
Perhaps the US educational system can learn from their hard work.