U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan today released the U.S. Department of Education's plan for transforming American education through technology, a process that would create an engaging state-of-the-art, cradle-to-college school system nationwide.
"We have an unprecedented opportunity to reform our schools," Duncan said during the State Educational Technology Directors Association Education Forum today. "With this technology plan, we have laid out a comprehensive vision for how teachers working with technology can transform student learning in classrooms across America. We must dramatically improve teaching and learning, personalize instruction and ensure that the educational environments we offer to all students keep pace with the 21st century."
The National Education Technology Plan (NETP) was written and refined over 18 months by leading education researchers, with input from the public, industry officials, and thousands of educators and students from across the country. Development of the NETP was led by the department's Office of Educational Technology and involved the most rigorous and inclusive process ever undertaken for a national education technology plan. It is a crucial component of the administration's effort to have America lead the world in college completion by 2020 and help close the achievement gap so that all students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers.
The plan, titled "Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology," presents a model with key goals in five areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure and productivity. Each core section outlines concepts for using technology to holistically 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, everywherein schools, throughout communities and in students' homes.
- Productivity: Use technology to help schools become more productive and accelerate student achievement while managing costs.
"Our nation's schools have yet to unleash technology's full potential to transform learning," Duncan said. "We're at an important transition point. We need to leverage technology's promise to improve learning."
Overall, the plan addresses technology trends that could transform education, such as mobility and accessibility, the rise of digital content, and the rise of online social networks for information, collaboration and learning. Importantly, it stresses that technology in the classroom only works when paired with effective teaching.
"Technology will never replace good teachers," Duncan said. "We all know that the most important factor in a student's success is the teacher leading the class. That will not change."
To read the finalized NETP, "Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology," visit http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010.