Archived Information

Recommendation - 4.2

All learners will have engaging and empowering learning experiences both in and outside of school that prepare them to be active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants in our globally networked society.

To meet this goal, we recommend the following action:

4.2 Recommendation: Ensure that every student and educator has at least one Internet access device and software and resources for research, communication, multimedia content creation, and collaboration for use in and out of school.

Only with 24/7 access to the Internet via devices, including mobile devices, and technology-based software and resources can we achieve the kind of engagement, student-centered learning, and assessments that can improve teaching that this plan proposes. The form of these devices, software, and resources may or may not be standardized and will evolve over time. In addition, states and districts should adopt technologies and develop policies to enable leveraging the technology that students already have. This will require improved security systems, more intelligent filtering systems that allow blocking and enabling access at a more granular level, and personnel capable of providing around-the-clock support for student- and educator-owned devices used for learning in addition to complete support for devices owned by the school. The Department of Education should work with districts, states, and the private sector to articulate effective technology support models.

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I appreciated the acknowledgement that “the form of these devices, software, and resources may or may not be standardized” as this also allows districts to be flexible with their resources. Many districts may be able to afford and support a 1:1 laptop environment with students, where other districts might struggle to support such a program. Instead enacting a 1:1 mobile computing plan might fit better with what some schools can manage. More efficient filtering, especially at a more granular level, is also something that is greatly needed as large blanket bans on “all social networking” is a practice that must end in order to meet recommendations from other parts of the NETP.