Proceedings of the First AAAS Technology Education Research Conference

Research Topics in Technology Education

Franzie L. Loepp
Illinois State University

After reflecting on the AAAS conference the areas of research in technology education that I propose are

    1. determining efficient and cost-effective ways to conduct professional development activities that will support teachers as they continuously improve while they help their students to become technologically literate,
    2. determining the impact technology education programs have on the learning of mathematics, science, social studies, etc.,
    3. determining ways humans (Pre-K through adult) best learn to understand, select and use technology,
    4. monitoring the on-going demand for technology education teachers at various levels (Pre-K–PhD) in the educational enterprise,
    5. developing, testing and implementing alternative Pre-K–12 curricula based on the Standards for Technological Literacy,
    6. determining whether or not students learn more mathematics, science and technology when curricula are integrated,
    7. determining the impact computer-based educational technologies such as expert systems and virtual reality can have on the development of technological literacy,
    8. developing a balanced construct among key areas of study such as ethics, economic, social and environmental concerns, and the application of technology, and
    9. developing valid and reliable standardized tests to determine the technological literacy of students at Pre-K through 12 levels.

Additionally, I offer the following observations for consideration:

    1. Research conducted by researchers in the field of technology education needs to be critiqued by objective and disinterested parties. Researchers in the field of technology education have a tendency to make broad positive statements about their field based on limited data.
    2. Researchers need to improve their grant writing skills in order to garner the resources needed to conduct quality research projects. At a recent PI (Principal Investigators) Conference for leaders with NSF grants that relate to technology education it was noted that leaders in the field lack self-confidence with respect to grant writing. It was also noted that those who interact with program officers as they develop their proposals are more successful.
    3. Since we are a global, technological society, a worldwide repository (perhaps Web-based) for research in technology education needs to be established.
    4. It is suggested that an organization such AAAS or ITEA establish an "international community of researchers in technology education" for the purpose of posting current topics for research, sharing on-going research activities and findings, and encouraging research oriented partnerships.