June 2002

ALBANY, NY 12234

Technology Education


  1. What is the difference between technology education and instructional/educational technology?

Technology education is a distinct discipline that provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to function in a technological society. Instructional or educational technology is a strategy for using different forms of technology (such as computers) to aid or enhance educational instruction. It is not a discipline.

  1. What constitutes a technology education course?

Technology education courses are courses that contain the unique aspects of designing, constructing, using and evaluating products and services to satisfy human and environmental needs. Courses used in a standards-based technology education curriculum follow established criteria to be considered appropriate.

  1. Can districts continue to use the State-developed courses in technology education?

The existing State-developed courses can be used as a starting point for program design. Because many of these courses are dated, districts need to commit to a plan for program improvement to focus these courses on the State learning standards. Dated curriculum cannot provide students with relevant information or rigorous content that will help them achieve the learning standards.

  1. May a district not offer a technology education course at the intermediate level?

No. All students must take the one unit of study in technology education by the end of grade 8. In providing academic intervention services, some students may have their unit of study in technology education reduced, but not eliminated. Students receiving approval to have their unit of study reduced must be given the opportunity to meet the technology learning standard and take the assessment at this level.

  1. What is the difference between integrated, interdisciplinary and infused courses?

All of these terms are used when describing course content. Interdisciplinary is a general term to describe a more specialized part of a subject area that may include content from more than one discipline. Integrated or integrated learning is an instructional strategy that draws unique elements from separate disciplines to form a more complete perspective, yet maintains context. Infused content is when one discipline's content is covered within the context of another without distinction.

  1. Why does technology education have a specific reference in Section 100.2 of the Commissionerís Regulations?

The specific reference to technology education learning standards alert some districts that may confuse technology in the Mathematics/Science/Technology (MST) learning standards to mean computer use in the classroom. To achieve the technology education learning standards, students need technology education courses that cover broader aspects of technology, not just computer technology.

  1. What is the relationship between technology education and career and technical education?

Technology education provides students with an opportunity to explore a wide range of technology related areas without a focus on specific employment skills. As a bridge between general education and career and technical education, technology education provides students with transferable skills and opportunities to pursue technology areas that may be linked to career and technical education areas. Technology education courses provide students with an awareness of technology in their lives in general and opportunities to pursue a technology related area they may choose as a future career. Career and technical education provides students with specific job skills leading to entry level employment.

  1. How does technology education address the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) learning standards?

When the existing courses in technology education were developed, they focused on career awareness and skills that are now associated with the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) report. If programs use these courses as a starting point for program development towards implementing the learning standards, they will be incorporating the CDOS learning standards into their courses.



  1. How will schools address the technology standard at the elementary level?

Because of the integrative nature of technology, many activities can be introduced that will enhance existing programming and address the standard. Districts can facilitate these enhancements by enlisting the aid of middle or high school technology teachers to work with elementary teachers to develop activities. These activities will assist elementary teachers by reinforcing concepts and at the same time not add to their workload. An ideal situation would have technology education teachers providing instruction.


  1. Why does the definition for technology education in Section 100.4 of the Commissionerís Regulations only pertain to the intermediate level?

The definition in CR 100.4 refers to the specific technology education course, Introduction to Technology, because it is a mandated unit of study. At the commencement level, this definition is not sufficient in that districts provide technology instruction in a variety of areas and methods.

  1. Will there be State assessments in technology education?

A State assessment of the intermediate level technology program and learning standards was disseminated and administered to the field in the spring of 2001 and 2002. This middle level technology education program evaluation test was made voluntary for school use starting in the 2002-2003 school year. Guidance will be provided by SED for using the test data to analyze and improve technology education programs. Research is continuing to identify essential aspects of technology at the commencement level. Any assessment at the commencement level would need to measure a student's level of technological literacy and capability to gauge a student's achievement of the learning standards.


  1. What is the technology education options for the third unit of math or science?

Districts will be given flexibility regarding what technology education course can be used for the third option of math or science. Course criteria have been established by the State for districts to use in determining an appropriate course. They are:

  1. Will there be sequences for technology education?

Yes. Section 100.2(h)(3) of the Commissionerís Regulations indicates that all students entering grade 9 in the year 2001 and thereafter must be given the opportunity to complete a three- or five-unit sequence in a career and technical education area. Although districts will be given flexibility in the courses making up a sequence, a framework with criteria will be provided to districts designing programs.

  1. Can the technology education course, Design and Drawing for Production (DDP), continue to be substituted for the art/music credit requirement?

Yes. Students pursuing an approved technology education sequence will receive technology education credit while also satisfying the commencement level art/music requirement. All students not pursuing an approved technology education sequence will earn credit in art education while also satisfying the commencement level art/music requirement. To fulfill this requirement, the course of study must utilize the State developed DDP syllabus. Courses of study such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) or Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) may not be substituted for DDP and do not fulfill the art/music unit requirement.

  1. How should a district provide students with the opportunity to achieve the standards in technology?

Districts are encouraged to develop a course of study in technology at the commencement level if one does not currently exist. Society has been transformed to a point where technological literacy has become an essential skill for survival. The integrative nature of technology justifies providing additional avenues for students in achieving the State learning standards. Valuable transferable skills are developed in dedicated technology education courses, while integrated courses in math/science/technology provide another way for students to experience the unique aspects of technology in the context of a math or science class. Elective courses addressing the established criteria would be another way of addressing the commencement level standard in technology.

  1. Can specialized courses be used in a technology education sequence?

With the flexibility given districts in course design and taking into account the established criteria for specific courses and sequences in technology education, specialized courses are acceptable as part of a sequence as long as they meet the established criteria: