sealPurdue News

July 1998

Purdue set to explore technology in the classroom

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The most profound changes in education in this decade have been driven by technology, and Purdue University's School of Education is taking steps to make sure that technology is utilized to its fullest potential in America's classrooms.

The school is partnering with the AT&T Foundation to conduct three national forums that will bring experts from around the country to Purdue to brainstorm about technology and its role in teaching and learning.

"Computers have essentially been brought into our educational system from the bottom up," explains Dean Marilyn Haring, who is also a professor of counseling and development. "We're wiring increasing numbers of classrooms for use by children who have been raised playing computer games at home, but that doesn't mean that teachers, administrators and school board members know how to best use the technology to enhance learning. Now we need to be thinking about this from the top down."

Haring says she believes that educators have a unique role to play in adapting this technology for teaching and learning, and that institutions charged with preparing teachers need to go beyond the delivery of content to examine such questions as:

  • Do students learn in new ways when confronted with certain new technologies?
  • What are the most effective ways to present knowledge so increased understanding and sophistication result?
  • What are the best ways to turn learners into critical and creative thinkers?
  • How can teachers equip and motivate students for lifelong learning?

The School of Education will pursue these and other questions in the planning forums, the first of which will be held this fall.

"These conversations will focus on formal and informal education as they pertain to the entire community," Haring says. "The goal is to develop a blueprint for major national initiatives that will ensure that educators are making the most of available technology for teaching and learning."

Purdue's undergraduate curriculum for teacher preparation includes extensive use of computers and distance education technology. The school also offers students the opportunity to earn a computer endorsement along with their teaching license.

CONTACT: Haring, (765) 494-2336; e-mail,

Compiled by Sharon Bowker, (765) 494-2077; e-mail,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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