May 20, 2002
Professor leads effort for international 'techno-literacy'
California State University, Sacramento professor recently
led an international group of experts to complete work that
will ultimately lead to testing of students in 31 nations
for "technology literacy." The tests will be much
like current international tests that compare students in
math and science competency.
Barbara O'Connor, a CSUS professor of communications, chaired
the group's 14-month effort for the Educational Testing Service,
which has developed widely used tests such as the SAT and
the Graduate Record Examinations.
O'Connor is excited about the work because, she says, "Technology
has become a central feature in our lives, and we need to
be able to measure how competent our citizens are in its use."
The group's report was presented to enthusiastic ETS officials
and industry representatives earlier this month.
Among other things, the report defined technology literacy
and provided a framework for designing the new test. The report
says worldwide testing for technology literacy is key to helping
governments, schools and other groups address technological
shortcomings in their countries. That's important, the report
says, because citizens in an increasingly technological world
are essentially illiterate without technology-based skills
ETS can now begin developing test instruments, and the company
expects to begin administering the test by 2004.
O'Connor may be contacted at (916) 278-6415 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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