National Education Technology Plan in line for an update

Comments on Education Department draft plan due by May 14

The Education Department is being urged to revise its draft version of the National Education Technology Plan to include measures on adult education and on accessibility for people with learning disabilities.

The department published the draft plan in March and welcomes public comments until May 14. After that date, the draft will be updated, according to a statement on the departmental Web site.

The draft plan primarily covers kindergarten through high school education and focuses on leveraging technology for learning, teaching, assessment and productivity. Students are urged to use computers and software for personalized learning experiences and teachers are encouraged to connect with networks to ensure their knowledge and methods are up to date.

“Technology-based learning and assessment systems will be pivotal in improving student learning and generating data that can be used to continuously improve the education system at all levels,” the draft plan states. “Technology will help us execute collaborative teaching strategies combined with professional learning that better prepare and enhance educators’ competencies and expertise over the course of their careers.”

Several public comments about the plan suggest that it should be broadened to cover adult learning and students with disabilities.

The plan “needs to be expanded, and specifically to mention immigrants and English language learning, family literacy, workplace literacy and the USDOE-sponsored adult education and literacy system,” wrote a commenter on April 17.

Others also suggested strengthening provisions for technology used in math and science education, as well as providing for educational systems’ use of alternatives to personal computers, such as Apple computers.


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Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Thu, May 13, 2010 Kathy Davis Raleigh, NC

Collaboration and innovation are keys to using technology in education. In the NC Community College System, we have been leaders in collaborating with the state university system and the department of public instruction as the bridge that connects students to their future. Because of the significant job losses in our state due to the recession, we are the educational entity that strives to retrain the workforce and empower the less educated to attain knowledge and degrees moving them forward and upward. The use of technology in education has allowed our system to do more with less funding, faculty, and time. Our "new" students take courses online from their bedrooms and battlefields all around our state and the world. It is anytime, anywhere education. Our students receive the same high quality courses in traditional as well as online environments in a form that is SACS accredited, ADA compliant, and using Quality Matters standards. Our distance learning courses are posted in the Virtual Learning Community, the NC Community Colleges Online resource. We have over 588,000 enrollments in distance learning in our system. Students function well in this technology based environment that meets them where they are - on laptops, mobile phones and aps, communicating through social media like Facebook and Twitter, blogs and wikis. Technology with elementary students will be even more critical as a component of education. Our youngest generation was born into a world full of technology. It's been part of their lives since birth and the environment they are most comfortable in. They can touch the world. Three recent graduates of NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill formed their own non-profit company to educate NC elementary students about the cultures and people in the social studies books. The company, Project Worldview (, partnered with businesses and provided live webcam sessions to classrooms from countries in the curriculum in Europe. The impact on the students was amazing. Videos and blogs were posted on the PW website for the students and postcards were mailed to the classrooms. And, the best part of this resource is that it cost the schools nothing to receive this educational resource. This project was the marriage of technology and innovation, achieving more with less, and collaboration between businesses and the community. Education will never again be confined to the physical classroom. Education will be the driving force that unites community and business leaders to impact learning for all.

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