Today, I listened to a FutureofEducation.com web interview of Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, on education, technology, and the 2010 National Education Technology Plan. The interview was an inspiring perspective of technology in education today. I took notes of some of the highlights of the plan and wanted to share with you, here. If you are interested in listening, the recording is here: http://www.learncentral.org/event/131618
The National Education Technology Plan, Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology, calls for applying the advanced technologies used in our daily personal and professional lives to our entire education system to improve student learning, accelerate and scale up the adoption of effective practices, and use data and information for continuous improvement. The full plan (114pp) can be found here: http://www.ed.gov/sites/default/files/NETP-2010-final-report.pdf
The NETP presents a model of 21st century learning powered by technology, with goals with recommendations for states, districts, the federal government, and other stakeholders. Each goal addresses one of the five essential components of learning powered by technology: Learning, Assessment, Teaching, Infrastructure, and Productivity.
- Cator described the plan as “broad, but grounded” with goals for where our education system must go to improve, as well as specific recommendations for action.
- She also described the US as being “ready to leverage technology to transform the education system”, so that we can cause all students to “lean forward, pay attention, and engage” in their education.
- With respect to LEARNING, the plan describes the need to leverage technology to provide personalized learning, giving students learning experiences that builds 21st century competencies (critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and multimedia communication), in a time when students have access to information 24/7, with tools that allow them to create multimedia content and share it with the world.
- On ASSESSMENT, the plan refers to the need to increase and improve feedback loops to impact student learning outcomes – move from a once a year assessment to a once every 5 minutes assessment.
- Assessments should be less focused on one test score and rather seen as “information that is really useful” for continuously improving student learning outcomes.
- Relevant data must be made available to the right people at the right time, and in the right form.
- On TEACHING, the plan references the need to build capacity of educators by enabling a shift to a model of connected teaching.
- Classrooms should be fully connected to provide educators with 24/7 access to data.
- On INFRASTRUCTURE, Cator referred to technology as a tool that “should power up teachers”, providing students and teachers the resources they need when and where they are needed.
- Infrastructure for learning is always on, available to students, educators and administrators regardless of location.
- Infrastructure unleashes new ways of capturing and sharing knowledge based on multimedia that include text, still and moving images, audio, and applications.