In the United States, total public school expenditures for
the 1996-97 school year were over $274 Billion dollars. Total expenditures for
technology in schools for 1996-97 were over $4 Billion dollars, reflecting continued
growth not only in acquiring computers for classrooms, but also in acquiring related
technology and services -- software, Internet access, local area networks, satellite
dishes, and multimedia-related peripherals and add-in devices for computer systems.
At the ICTE Conference in New Orleans in March 1996,
Vice President Al Gore welcomed attendees to the ICTE Conference Opening Session by
pre-recorded video, and outlined four initiatives that the administration was undertaking,
with the goal of achieving technological literacy for all students in US schools by the
21st century. The growth in expenditures for technology in schools in the US, and
the continuing emphasis on Internet connectivity, reflect this goal.
The four initiatives are:
- Modern computers and learning devices will be accessible to every student.
- Classrooms will be connected to one another and to the outside world.
- Teachers will be ready to use and teach technology.
- Educational software will be an integral part of the curriculum and as engaging
as the best video game.
The education / technology initiative in the US continues to reflect the
administration's goals in this area as expressed by Vice President Gore's opening remarks
at the ICTE Conference in New Orleans in March 1996, and his remarks remain of interest.
Prime Minister ThorbjÝrn Jagland of Norway
Opening remarks, ICTE Oslo 1997
A modern, highly industrialized nation, Norway is nevertheless a country with a
modest population of just over 4 million people spread over a large land area, making it
one of the least densely populated countries in Europe. With large distances between
population centers, telecommunications and distance learning are important factors in
instructional technology plans for Norwegian education. In fact, Norway has the highest
rate of investment in the field of communications and information technology per capita or
in relation to GDP of any nation. Current Norwegian initiatives are of particular interest
with respect to technology and education, and were featured in the ICTE program in Oslo.
Norwegian Prime Minister Thorbjorn Jagland addressed the opening session of ICTE
Oslo 1997, and his remarks with respect to technology and education were particularly
insightful and remain of interest.