SOURCE: State Educational Technology Directors Association

July 27, 2005 08:04 ET

SETDA's "Imagine a Technology Blackout Day!" Sparks Discourse in Classrooms Nationwide

Over 1,200 Teachers Participate in Program Spotlighting Technology's Importance in Education

ARLINGTON, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 27, 2005 -- The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) announced today that its first annual "National Imagine a Technology Blackout Day!" program was a resounding success. The event, which ran from April 20th through May 20th, resulted in over 1,200 K-12 teachers from across the U.S. enacting lesson plans challenging their students to visualize their day-to-day lives without the use of technology.

Over 4,500 students submitted their experiences and lessons learned from the program through the event's Web site, http://www.technologyblackoutday.com. The program also encouraged parents to take an active role by letting their children assign homework to them addressing the transformative nature of technology on the workforce. Hundreds of parents submitted their feedback on technology's importance in their children's future and suggestions for teachers in using technology to improve education.

"The concept of teaching without technology is as archaic and ridiculous as farming without tractors," stated Reed Turnbow, an English teacher at Tabiona School in Duchesne School District in Utah. "Many parts of the curriculum, even in a subject as straightforward as English, are taught much more effectively using technology than old-fashioned chalkboards and handouts. I could never return to the old-fashioned approach to teaching modern students." Turnbow is a veteran teacher with more than 28 years of experience.

The success of "National Imagine a Technology Blackout Day!" comes as the United States Senate voted recently to provide $425 million to the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) section of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. While this marks a significant improvement on the White House's proposal to scrap the program entirely in its FY2006 budget, it still falls far short of the $692 million earmarked for the program just last year. SETDA requests that the necessity of technology in education demonstrated by the enthusiastic response to "National Imagine a Technology Blackout Day!" be considered and that funding for the program be fully restored.

"This event really struck a chord with the education community, and gave students an opportunity to take a step back and appreciate the positive influence technology has had on their lives, and the lives of their families and peers," said Melinda George, Executive Director of SETDA. "It is truly a validation that modern technology has become a necessity for students in the 21st Century, and unless students continue to have access to technology it will be much harder for Americans to keep pace in an increasingly competitive global marketplace."

About SETDA

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal association for state directors of technology and their staff members. SETDA provides its membership consisting of 50 states and three territories with opportunities to collaborate and learn from one another as well as the broader ed-tech community through meetings, surveys, conference calls, and online leadership courses. For more information about SETDA and/or its events, visit http://www.setda.org.

Contact Information