Prediction of educational technology to be found in the public schools of the year 2000: a Delphi study

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Virginia Tech

The world is shifting into an unprecedented technological age. Towns such as Blacksburg, Virginia, are now being called "electronic villages" with electronic infrastructure which not only ties together all aspects of the town but also connects the town to the world. Reality becomes "virtual" with information unimpeded by time and distance.

This rapid advancement in electronical technology is having an impact on world educational systems. Those planning the future of education have a need to know what directions this new technology might take in order to interface such technologies with the schools. The purpose of this study was to predict which present and emerging electronic technologies would be in significant use in the K-12 schools of the year 2000.

The Delphi technique was used to gather predictions from an expert panel of teachers, administrators, electronic media specialists, and those working in the technology industries. The predictions were gathered from winter 1994 to fall 1995 for the year 2000, taking into account the need for a reasonably accurate prediction which could be used for those now engaged in short-term planning and those engaged in generating the appropriate technologies for the schools. The types of present and emerging electronic technologies "to be found in K-12 schools of the year 2000 were solicited in round one of the study. Rounds two and three identified which technologies would indeed be in significant usage. Using a scale of 1 to 4 (1= very unimportant, 2= unimportant, 3=important, 4= very important), a group mean and standard deviation were calculated for each identified technology. Those technologies with a mean score of 3.00 or higher in round three were predicted to be those likely or very likely to be used in the K-12 schools of the year 2000.

technology - electronic