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The Existential Ed-Tech Pursuit?

Whether or not educators are catching up with technology, they don't feel like they are.

That's the conclusion made by Karen Billings, vice president of the educational division of the Software and Information Industry Association, after the release of preliminary findings of the 2011 edition of its "Vision K-20 Survey," which is still open to volunteer respondents through tomorrow, June 30.

"What [the findings] tell me is that because this is such a dynamic world out there, the end point keeps moving out on them," Billings said at a Tuesday press briefing across the street from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, site of this year's annual ISTE conference. "The more they do, the more they're aware of how much more they should be doing."

After analyzing the self-evaluation by 273 respondents—all but seven of whom were from K-12 schools or districts—the composite score for the preliminary sample was a 60 on a scale of 1-100, two points below last year's final score. Participants in the survey answered 20 multiple-choice questions indicating a school or district's progress toward the SIIA's seven Vision K-20 goals, and five measures of progress.

Billings predicted the final overall score, to be released on July 26 with the final report, would edge up slightly with increased feedback from postsecondary schools. More than a quarter of respondents in last year's survey were from the postsecondary world, Billings said, and of the 200 or so respondents who took this year's survey after the preliminary results were compiled, a significant portion were from two- or four-year colleges and universities, she added.

Of the seven goals, respondents again ranked themselves highest in facilitating communication, connectivity, and collaboration in their schools. Helping their schools meet the needs of all students came a distant second. Of the five measures of progress, respondents said they were furthest along with including 21st-century tools and building enterprise support in schools, and struggled most with integrating online assessments.

Billings also announced that a recent, 12-page whitepaper called "Social Media Marketing and Education" is available for public download, and the more comprehensive Expert's Guide to the Postsecondary Market, which includes articles about crossing over from the postsecondary to K-12 marketplace, is now available to SIIA members.

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