NAEP Technological Literacy Framework Feedback Opportunity

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been serving on the NAEP Technology Literacy Assessment Planning Committee. (Post: NAEP Technology Assessment 2012)

Now it’s your turn.

The current draft of the framework is available for public review and feedback at You can download the framework from the Outreach section of the website and provide feedback using the online survey link.

In addition to feedback on the framework as a whole, the project is asking for specific input on a title for the assessment. It has been suggested that “Technological Literacy” may not appropriately represent the contents of this framework. The Governing Board will be considering a title change on top of all the other feedback from this survey and other public meetings held this past year.

There has been some controversy over the content and name of the assessment. In K-12 schools, the most common use of the term “technology literacy” is for computer, information, and digital media literacy. This test covers much more. (Post: THE Journal: NAEP Gets It One-Third Right)

The NAEP Technology Literacy Framework defines technology as anything in the “developed world” – meaning forms of engineering, medicine, and other scientific and mathematical disciplines beyond the traditional science and math covered in their respective NAEP frameworks.

There is, in my opinion, a huge potential for confusion with the current title, since “technology literacy” in most K-12 schools, districts, and state department of education offices means something very different than the definition found in this assessment.

While it would be wonderful if K-12 schools actually taught engineering concepts and post 19th century math, it’s a rare occurrence. That combined with the fact that “technology literacy” has multiple meanings will cause confusion over this assessment. The last thing I want is for kids (and teachers) to be blamed and falsely labeled over silly semantics.

A name change, such as calling it a “Technology Assessment”, or “Technology and Engineering Assessment” might be a small step towards avoiding this inevitable confusion.

Comments and suggestions on the framework (and name) are being accepted through January 15, 2010. The National Assessment Governing Board is scheduled to take action on the recommended framework in March 2010.

Voice your opinion!


3 Replies to “NAEP Technological Literacy Framework Feedback Opportunity”

  1. Changing the name of the assessment is a start. “Technology and Engineering Assessment or pre-engineering” is better.

    I hope the NAEP Technology Literacy Assessment Planning Committee takes seriously the recommendations for changes that people are putting forth. I attended the June presentation at NECC (which was both poorly attended and poorly received by those in attendance) and since then I have seen little to suggest that the feedback that people have given openly through blogs and articles is being listened to and that the document is changing as a result.

    While it’s not Generation Yes’s responsibility to be sure that we are listened to (as I am sure Generation Yes is listening), each stakeholder organization must take implementing the changes we suggest seriously and evolve this flawed document which appears to be a collection of ideas from various organizations into a meaningful document that will have a positive impact.

  2. Sylvia,

    Almost a year ago, I presented an overview of the new ISTE NET*S to computer teachers in my district. For the most part, the group was not receptive to the idea of technology integrated into the core curriculum.

    Typically, at the elementary sites, the computer lab is used for assessment (Accelerated Readers, All the Right Type, etc.) and for games, with a little bit of MS Office woven in. Middles schools offer more MS Office, with a few sites offering video editing. Our high schools use the computer labs for business courses, some web design, some film, some animations, depending on the site.

    Access to computers within the core content areas is pretty limited unless the individual departments or grade levels have considered ordering laptop cars. Connections between the computer lab curriculum and the core curriculum are spotty at best.

    I was therefore very excited to learn that you were involved with the NAEP Frameworks. I now had another piece of the puzzle to provide teachers examples of what technology integration might look like. I pulled samples from the NAEP draft and added them to a Tech Standards wiki I set up for the district. I also assured panic-stricken lab teachers that NAEP was still in the draft stages. If you’re used to being evaluated on discrete skills such as “student can move mouse,” the leap into the ISTE NET*S and NAEP must seem like light years.

    Change is hard. The messiness of defining “technology literacy” is a huge topic/concept. I appreciate Joe’s hope that the Planning Committee will “evolve this flawed document which appears to be a collection of ideas from various organizations into a meaningful document that will have a positive impact.” I would, however, substitute “flawed” for “initial draft.”

    In the meantime, the more examples of technology integration into the core curriculum I can share with teachers, the better prepared we will all be when a final NAEP version is posted. Just found one more great resource this morning from Vermont – In a nutshell: “Given the major shift in emphasis in the Refreshed NETS-S of 2007 from basic skills and productivity tools to creativity, innovation, communication and problem solving, it became clear to many that trying to define the new standards at measurable levels would most likely limit their potential and render them quickly obsolete given the rapidly-changing nature of technology. Instead of taking a more traditional path, we opted to create scenarios in an attempt to paint a possible picture of what these standards might look like as they are integrated into the curriculum at various grade levels.”

    Sorry for rambling on, but just wanted to say thanks again to you and your committee members. While district administrators may or may not be familiar with ISTE NETS, they definitely recognize the importance of our “nation’s report card.”

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