Education plan outlines IT goals

Technology advised for learning, teaching and assessment

The next advances in educational achievement would likely be made because of devices and software for each student and educator along with continuous Internet access, open-source tools, interoperability and cloud computing, according to the final National Education Technology Plan from the Education Department.

The plan was made public on Nov. 9 after 18 months in development. It describes IT goals in learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure and productivity.

“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,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said.


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The plan also touches on evolving IT applications that include mobile applications, accessibility tools, cloud computing, Web 2.0 and social media. For example, it says wikis can be tools to help group learning that can happen regardless of location or time.

The plan also is meant to support a related goal set by President Barack Obama for the United States to restore its rank as first in the world in higher education graduates by 2020.

The plan outlines using IT in these areas:

  • Use customized tools and change the learning process so it is tailored to students’ needs and interests, while also maintaining basic standards on content.
  • Measure student progress against educational and career standards and use real-time data for continuous improvement.
  • Connect teachers to tools, resources and peers.
  • Provide broadband connectivity to all students in schools, communities and homes.
  • Use IT tools to increase productivity and reduce costs.

About the Author

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

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