The Joyce Foundation asked CCT to convene a meeting of researchers, K-12 educators and administrators, community advocates, funders, policymakers, and journalists to reflect on the range of research and advocacy work currently being conducted to advance the equitable and high-quality use of technology in urban schools. This conference had two purposes. The first was to articulate a set of concrete recommendations to the Joyce Foundation regarding future directions and structures for its programmatic investments in the area of technology and school reform. The second was to identify important areas for future work and further collaboration among participants at the conference.
The Johnson Foundation hosted this two-day conference (October 12-14, 2000), attended by forty participants, at the Wingspread conference center in Racine, Wisconsin. Discussion focused on the challenges that researchers, practitioners, and policymakers are currently facing as they attempt to bring substantive use of technology to scale in the nation's large, urban K-12 public school districts.
The assumption driving this effort was that both the foundation as well as the research, practice, and policy communities need to create coherent, well-grounded strategic plans to guide future work. These plans will help coordinate diverse efforts to bring technology use to scale in large urban districts, and will help us be more effective in focusing the public conversation about technology use in the classroom on high-quality learning and teaching for all.
A key feature of this conference was the wide range of participants' professional backgrounds and relationships to the issues at hand. This group was carefully constituted because we believe that the best current thinking regarding technology and education is being done by professionals working across traditional boundaries. The agenda centered on collaborative research that brings together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. Developing a more elaborate articulation of and effective advocacy for this style of research was a key issue throughout the conference.
A report summarizing the conference findings as well as six white papers commissioned to frame the discussion became publicly available in the summer of 2001.