It's a pretty loaded question, asking state public education officials for their thoughts on increasing technology in the schools...digital, wireless advances that in some instances appear to be revolutionizing the way kids are taught and the way kids process information and, subsequently, display that they've learned a thing or two.
Although the answers can run the gamut and get quite lengthy and meandering, maybe Darin King, director of the North Dakota Educational Technology Council at the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, summed up the views of many in positions similar to his when posed with the question, is all this new technology a good thing?
"Yes," he said. "It's a good thing."
In Minnesota, at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), increased technology in the schools is also looked upon in generally favorable fashion, with some caveats. For one, said Keith Hovis, deputy communications director at the MDE, there are still state mandated educational requirements that students must meet, no matter how instructors disseminate knowledge to them. And for another thing, he added, while some more populated areas of the state don't give Internet speed a second thought any longer because they simply assume it's always going to be super-fast at all times, some rural areas of the state still struggle with speed and bandwidth issues. "This can impact a district's ability to utilize new technologies," Hovis said. "I know this is something being looked at on a federal level, but it is a definite challenge for schools looking to incorporate new technologies."
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