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Department of Education Releases New Technology Plan
posted by: Alix | November 11, 2010, 05:01 PM   

This week, the Department of Education released a new national education technology plan through their Office of Educational Technology entitled, Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology.  The report comes on the heels of some major breakthroughs relating to technology in education, often highlighted on the AAE blog.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan advocated the need for the comprehensive project. He said, "The plan calls for applying advanced technology used in our daily personal and professional lived 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." It is clear that technology is advancing extremely fast and the possible education implications are limitless. It is important to keep pace with trends in technology and to implement them in a way that serves American students.

The plan advocates for transforming American education to include technology in all aspects, offering a model with key initiatives in five areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure and productivity. Each core section outlines concepts for using technology to transform education, with the aim to achieve each goal by 2015:
  • Learning: Change the learning process so it's more engaging and tailored to students' needs and interests.
  • Assessment: Measure student progress on the full range of college and career ready standards and use real time data for continuous improvement.
  • Teaching: Connect teachers to the tools, resources, experts and peers they need to be highly effective and supported.
  • Infrastructure: Provide broadband connectivity for all students, everywhere—in schools, throughout communities and in students' homes.
  • Productivity: Use technology to help schools become more productive and accelerate student achievement while managing costs.
The plan is in line with the Obama administration's vision of education as the key to America's economic growth and prosperity and to our ability to compete in the global economy. Technology is a key component in reaching the administration's goals of making sure at least 60% of the U.S. population holds a two- year or four- year degree by 2020 as well as closing the achievement gap so that all students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers.

Duncan stressed, "Technology empowers teachers like never before to support their personal mission of providing the best possible education to their students. But it's important to remember that technology alone isn't going to improve student achievement. The best combination is great teachers working with technology to personalize the learning experience and engage students in the pursuit of the learning they need." Certainly cutting edge technology is not the only factor in student achievement; great teachers are a critical component of the future of implementing new technology is schools.

You can read the department’s entire technology plan by clicking here.

What are your thoughts on technology in education?
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