Thursday, November 11, 2010
New technology plan released for the nation's schools
Education Secretary Arne Duncan released the final version of the National Education Technology Plan. The plan, which emphasizes the role of the department as a facilitator, is focused on enhancing academic instruction through Internet-based learning, a decreased emphasis on "seat time" and a preference for more flexibility. The document also includes plans to fund the creation of open-source resources for schools and online professional learning communities for teachers, among other initiative
Transforming American Education
The National Education Technology Plan 2010 (NETP) calls for revolutionary transformation rather than evolutionary tinkering. It urges our education system at all levels to
• Be clear about the outcomes we seek.
• Collaborate to redesign structures and processes for effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility.
• Continually monitor and measure our performance.
• Hold ourselves accountable for progress and results every step of the way.
The plan recognizes that technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work, and we must leverage it to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences and content, as well as resources and assessments that measure student achievement in more complete, authentic, and meaningful ways. Technology-based learning and assessment systems will be pivotal in improving student learning and generating data that can be used to continuously improve the education system at all levels. Technology will help us execute collaborative teaching strategies combined with professional learning that better prepare and enhance educators’ competencies and expertise over the course of their careers. To shorten our learning curve, we should look to other kinds of enterprises, such as business and entertainment, that have used technology to improve outcomes while increasing productivity.
We also should implement a new approach to research and development (R&D) in education that focuses on scaling innovative best practices in the use of technology in teaching and learning, transferring existing and emerging technology innovations into
education, sustaining the R&D for education work that is being done by such organizations as the National Science Foundation, and creating a new organization to address major R&D challenges at the intersection of learning sciences, technology, and education.
A Model of Learning Powered by Technology
The NETP presents a model of learning powered by technology, with goals and recommendations in five essential areas:learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity. The plan also identifies far-reaching “grand challenge” R&D problems that should be funded and coordinated at a national level. The challenging and rapidly changing demands of our global economy tell us what people need to know and who needs to learn. Advances in learning sciences show us how people
learn. Technology makes it possible for us to act on this knowledge and understanding.
Learning: Engage and Empower
The model of learning described in this plan calls for engaging and empowering learning experiences for all learners. The model asks that we focus what and how we teach to match what people need to know, how they learn, where and when they will learn, and who needs to learn. It brings state-of-the art technology into learning to enable, motivate, and inspire all students, regardless of background, languages, or disabilities, to achieve. It leverages the power of technology to provide personalized learning and to enable continuous and lifelong learning.
Many students’ lives today are filled with technology that gives them mobile access to information and resources 24/7, enables them to create multimedia content and share it with the world, and allows them to participate in online social networks where people from all over the world share ideas, collaborate, and learn new things. Outside school, students are free to pursue their passions in their own way and at their own pace. The opportunities are limitless, borderless, and instantaneous.
The challenge for our education system is to leverage the learning sciences and modern technology to create engaging, relevant, and personalized learning experiences for all learners that mirror students’ daily lives and the reality of their futures. In contrast to traditional classroom instruction, this requires that we put students at the center and empower them to take control of their own learning by providing flexibility on several dimensions.
To Continue on to full Technology Plan 2010 click here