The Department of Education recently released the new National Education Technology Plan. The last time it was reviewed and updated was in 2010. A lot has changed in education and technology since then. So not only are some of the goals updated, but the format in which the plan is delivered has changed. There is still a PDF version that can be downloaded and printed, but the online version is more reflective of the content. It has short videos that illustrate the different aspects of the plan and lots of graphics that highlight its specific features.
The plan has seven different sections. It starts with an introduction and ends with a conclusion and in between are the different areas the plan addresses; learning, teaching, leadership, assessment, and infrastructure. In each of the sections, there is a major goal and list of ways states and districts can reach that goal. Key terms such as “personalized learning” and “blended learning” are explained so that non-educators can understand what is being described and how technology can assist in the process. Each section provides case studies as examples so that others can see what the plan is describing.
If you want to skip all the background information, explanations, and examples and just get a list of recommendations, then you will find that in the conclusion. The NETP is something that districts and states can use in their planning for the future. It has lots of resources and examples that can be advantageous in the strategic planning process. Building a vision that is shared with key stakeholders is vitally important when determining how your district wants to use technology. This plan provides resources that will help those stakeholders envision ways in which technology can empower students and teachers to achieve the educational goals of the community.
This plan, just like the one in 2010, focuses on learning. Technology is seen as a foundation that empowers the learning process. This is as it should be. If you are coming to TCEA 2016, you can get a personal tour of the plan by Zac Chase from the Department of Education. He will be presenting on Wednesday, February 3 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in room 18A.