I'm trying to catch up on various reading "assignments" I gave myself over the summer. One of them was to read the National Educational Technology Plan, which was released by the federal government last Spring. I've only just reviewed the Executive Summary so far, but it is quite interesting. The full plan (and executive summary -- plus comments from educators and the public) can be accessed by clicking here.
As summarized on the blog weblogg-ed, some key elements called for in the NETP include:
* Personalized learning
* Learning that is “lifelong and life-wide and available on demand.”
* A device and "ubiquitous access" for every student and teacher.
* Professional development that focuses on “connected teaching” in “online learning communities”
* Professional learning that is “collaborative, coherent, and continuous" instead of "episodic and ineffective"
* Learning that is “always on”
* Learning that is no longer “one size fits all.”
* Student work on the cloud
* Student managed electronic learning portfolios
* Students as “networked learners”
* Broadband everywhere
* Open educational resources
* Creative Commons licenses
* Changes to CIPA and FERPA to open up access
* Rethinking the “basic assumptions” of schooling
Like any high-level government report, there is plenty of rhetoric and vagueness as to how these great things will come about, and in some cases the concepts seem to contradict Race to the Top strategies for standardization, etc. But I think it is encouraging that people at fairly high levels are having this conversation at all. This is a truly visionary document -- and visions are supposed to be "out there," giving something to aim for.
Anyway, as we are preparing to discuss Board and District goals, I thought I would share with you that one of my personal goals for this year is to instigate a thoughtful and inclusive discussion of our own technology practices and plans. The NETP will be one valuable resource for that discussion.
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