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The following process was used to identify standards and benchmarks for technology:

Identification of Significant Reports

Fifteen documents were identified as useful for developing content standards for technology. They include Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (2000) from the International Technology Education Association (ITEA), National Educational Technology Standards for Students: Connecting Curriculum and Technology (2000) from International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Benchmarks for Science Literacy (1993) from Project 2061 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Technology - A Curriculum Profile for Australian Schools (1994) from the Australian Education Council, National Standards for Business Education: What America's Students Should Know and Be Able to Do in Business (1995) from the National Business Education Association, Science Framework for the 1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress (1996) from the National Assessment of Educational Progress Science Consensus Project, and the National Science Education Standards (1996) from the National Research Council. The National Center for Improving Science Education has published two useful works addressing technology, Science and Technology Education for the Elementary Years: Frameworks for Curriculum and Instruction (Bybee, et al., 1989) and Science and Technology Education for the Middle Years: Frameworks for Curriculum and Instruction (Bybee et al., 1990). Additionally, useful curriculum material on technology was available from a number of State Departments of Education (California, North Carolina, and Texas). Finally, material from International Baccalaureate was consulted, specifically, Design Technology (1996d), Environmental Systems (1996f), and Information Technology in a Global Society (1995b).

Selection of the Reference Documents

The construction of standards and benchmarks for this section was first undertaken in 1997, at a time when no national group had yet published standards for technology. At that time a number of documents were consulted in place of a single reference document. For the two standards that address the computer skills that students should acquire, two documents from state departments of education served as reference documents, the Teacher Handbook Component: Computer Skills (1992) from North Carolina, and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Applications (draft, 1996). On the topic of technology as it impacts and is affected by society and the individual, Benchmarks for Science Literacy was selected as the reference document. For the standard treating the nature of technology design, the National Science Education Standards was used as the primary document. The standard on the nature and operation of systems was developed using two documents, Benchmarks for Science Literacy and Technology - A Curriculum Profile for Australian Schools.

The ITEA study, Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology follows, not surprisingly, the design outlined in their 1996 work, Technology for All Americans: A Rationale and Structure for the Study of Technology, which was consulted in the previous edition of the Compendium. The ITEA report was the source for a new standard in this edition on technology in daily life (discussed below).

Identification of Standards and Benchmarks

In the initial construction of standards, and prior to the appearance of national reports on technology standards, our review of the available documents showed that most technology content addressed five broad topics. These topics-computer hardware and operating systems; computer software programs; technology, society, and the individual; technological design; and systems-ultimately framed the five standards that were adopted for technology, once the identification of benchmarks confirmed that there was sufficient material to warrant their construction. Reviewing these standards now against the material published in 2000 showed that the standards held up well; that is, we found we could include or incorporate the content present in the latest standards documents within the given standards. However, one additional topic did emerge in the analysis: the forms that technology takes and the role of particular technologies-such as health, transportation, communication-in daily life. Standard 6, which addresses this topic, has been added to address this material.

Of these standards, the standard on the nature and operation of systems might benefit from some additional explanation. The idea of systems is often presented in education materials as a useful theme for instruction (see National Science Standards, p. 116-117, California Science Framework, p.33ff.). According to the model adopted in this report, such a use would suggest that the material is more suited for the development of a curriculum or program standard, which provides suggestions or guidelines for instruction, rather than a content standard, which identifies the knowledge and skills students should acquire. However, our analysis showed that the topic of systems, unlike other themes, such as change and constancy, models, and scale and structure, is associated with a substantial and consistent vocabulary (e.g., input, output, boundary) across a range of source materials. In addition to consistent language and the coherency of concept that such usage suggests, the material on systems provided a sufficient level of detail for the identification of benchmarks, and most important for our purposes, an indication as to the appropriate grade level for the introduction of content material. As to the placement of systems within the section on technology, rather than science, this was done principally because the National Science Standards treated systems as a theme, while works exclusively addressing technology consistently addressed it as important content for students studying technology. As the authors of Technology for All Americans (p. 12) state, "the basic building block of technology is the system."

For each of the six standards identified, information for benchmark development was drawn from the reference report(s) selected for each standard, as described earlier. The method of benchmark identification varied by document because each document varied in its presentation of content. In keeping with our model, for example, when a document provided model activities rather than description of content, the activities were examined to determine what could be inferred about the knowledge and skills required of a student who successfully engaged in those activities; the knowledge and skills identified were then formed into benchmarks.

Integration of Information from Other Documents

Information from all documents was incorporated within the set of six standards. Supplementary material for the first two standards, which deal with the understanding and use of computer hardware and software, was developed in part from National Standards for Business Education and the International Baccalaureate's Information Technology. Standard three, which addresses issues related to technology, the individual, and society, was supplemented with material from all fifteen documents. ISTE's National Educational Technology Standards for Students was useful particularly for supplementary citations in standards one through three. Benchmarks on the nature of technology design, the subject of standard four, were supplemented with material from the International Baccalaureates' Design Technology. The fifth standard, on systems, was supplemented with citations from science and technology frameworks for elementary and middle school from the National Center for Improving Science Education. Content from the ITEA's Standards for Technological Literacy was incorporated throughout these five standards, often providing clarity by way of example, and sometimes new content. The sixth standard, on technology in daily life, was supplemented with material from the Texas standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy.