Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology
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.
It presents five 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.In the 2010 edition of Government Technology's Year in Review, Tanya Roscor reports the evolution of education technology in 2010
(Government Technology, December 2010, pp. 23-24
Over the past year, school districts and universities nationwide switched to hosted applications, beefed up their wireless infrastructure and experimented with digital content.
For e-mail and documents, institutions moved to Google Apps for Education. In April, Oregon was the first state to sign an agreement with Google that its school districts could take advantage of, with Iowa and Colorado following suit in June. In the California State University system, more than half of the campuses switched to Google’s hosted service, along with major research universities. While some campuses tested Microsoft Live@edu
they made up a small minority.
On the wireless front, more school districts provided wireless access and mobile devices to educators and students. A smaller but growing number of districts allow students to access the wireless network with their own technology.
In the classroom, educators increasingly gave students assignments to blog, talk with classes nationwide and search for learning resources via online applications. These tools let students get excited about learning and use their book smarts in the real world.
As content moved online and became interactive, California led the way in affordable digital learning initiatives. On the K-12 level, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger continued his free digital textbook initiative, and a pilot project with iPad apps in four districts is testing the impact of interactive digital content on student learning. At the college level, the university systems provided open source content and other digital material. Texas also is working on a portal for educators and students that combines professional development, portfolios, digital content, e-books and online courses.
These tools allow students to communicate, interact and engage with the knowledge they’re learning — and that’s what education is all about. — Tanya Roscorla