The first thing I want to say to the authors of the new National Ed Tech Plan (pdf) is this: DON’T TEASE ME.
I’m trying not to get overly optimistic here, but suffice to say, if the rhetoric is any indication of the direction, we may have actually turned a corner.
- Personalized learning
- Learning that is “lifelong and life-wide and available on demand.”
- A device and ubiquitous access for every student and teacher.
- Professional development that focuses on “connected teaching” in “online learning communities” (Sounds familiar.)
- Professional learning that is “collaborative, coherent, and continuous.”
- Learning that is “always on”
- Learning that is no longer “one size fits all.”
- Student work on the cloud
- Student managed electronic learning portfolios
- Students as “networked learners”
- Broadband everywhere
- Open educational resources
- Creative Commons licenses
- Changes to CIPA and FERPA to open up access
- Rethinking the “basic assumptions” of schooling
Sure, there’s some stuff not to like, and a lot of vagueness as to how we get there, but I’m giving this an A-. Read it.
But here’s the thing…anyone else see a big disconnect between this vision and RTTT? Are these folks really in the same administration?
The words make me optimistic. The deeds so far? Not so much.
So, what do we do about that?
Miguel Guhlin says
Regrettably, we are all cast into the role of “Doubting Thomas.” Rather than see a high-flown plan with all the buzz words, I’d like to see action that we can describe AFTER the fact. Deeds first, then words to describe it. Under-promise, over-deliver.
So far, our current administration continues to pry open the bag of Aeolus with no measurable results.
Paula White says
These folks asked for teacher input into this last July at NECC. I sat in a room with a LOT of teachers I respect and Linda Roberts, who was actively listening and questioning the sharing. I felt she was sincere and honestly wanting to make this plan a worthwhile one that reflected the best thinking of America’s educators and policy makers.
With this plan, and Superintendent Moran’s (@pammoran) tweet last night, “what Aneesh Chopra U.S. CTO says abt tech in our schools http://bit.ly/bo1g6X and http://bit.ly/9irwr2” I AM optimistic. Aneesh GETS it–I have met him, been on phone conversations with him and he has picked my brain for ideas for the use of iPod Touches in middle school classrooms. I was impressed by the questions he asked, and the depth of his understanding of how technology can empower students as well as stretch the types of learning they can do.
I am hopeful both Aneesh and Linda can make headway with the more traditional thinkers in our American administration, but frankly, they need powerful examples–teachers need to share great lessons and outcomes of those lessons. That was part of the requested support prior to the writing of the plan–Linda begged us to be sure to share what we were doing.
We need to keep doing that!
Will Richardson says
Hey Paula…I have no doubt as to their intentions. In just about every way, they’ve hit the mark. But we’ve seen great rhetoric in the past without any follow through. I hope we can track how the administration adopts this plan. Has their been an Obama statement about it anywhere? Duncan? Love to read them is so.
Ric Murry says
We hope, we hope.
I think a big key will be the CIPA/FERPA rewrite, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, local interpretations of the rewrites.
But we still have hope.
Thanks for sharing this information.
Gary Stager says
and yet, none of those bulleted points require a computer.
Set aside the Obama administration’s contempt for public education, this “tech plan” will be as efficacious as the ones ignored in the past.
Will Richardson says
Really? Electronic portfolios don’t require a computer? Online communities? Ubiquitous access?
True, a lot of this is any century learning…but I’m still asking the question how does technology enhance that?
Gary Stager says
I have been known to ask grad students if they can find the Director for Office of Educational Technology on the White House org chart?
Shelly Blake-Plock says
Among the things that strike me about this is the subtext of infrastructure realignment.
You can’t have “A device and ubiquitous access for every student and teacher” and “Broadband everywhere” without fundamentally altering the fundamental structure of current telecom (both in physical and business-model aspects).
If they want to do one (digital ubiquity), they have to do the other (realign the structure).
This would not only be a ridiculously exciting move, but would be one that is absolutely fundamental towards realizing the empowerment of so many teachers and students who have for so long found themselves on the opposite side of the digital divide. Further, such a move would provide new research, jobs, and training in digital infrastructure at a time when all three are vitally needed.
Chris Lehmann says
This is why I talk about the maddening paradox of Education 2010. There’s SO much potential right now, and we’re so close to what we could be. I still think tech is this weird wedge, because no one knows what to do with it. The EdTech Plan is proof… there’s little about that document that fits with the rest of the implementation of the Obama / Duncan ed-plan, but I also don’t doubt that Obama / Duncan, if asked, would say that educational technology is important. What worries me is that the tech plan could easily be something that is used to say, “See… we do this!” while schools that aren’t passing the test still have hours upon hours of test prep.
Will Richardson says
So, I’ll ask it a different way. How then do we hold the administration accountable on the implementation of these ideas?
Tyler Cave says
I was privileged to hear you speak Thursday (April 1st 2010. I believe we are moving towards this new reality and will continue to do so through front line initiatives and not admin accountability. One of the founding blocks of this paradigm shift is simply that we are doing it with or without the approval or accountability of a hierarchal power model. In fact, half the fun is dealing with the lack of support. I consider the frustration of dealing with blocked sites or lack of tech integration or what have you my new PD. I’m forced to join learning networks, crunch tools, just so I can facilitate that for my students. I’m glad it has not been handed down, so to speak.
Truly inspired on Thursday!
Tom Hoffman says
There is so little specificity about tech (and the specific legal issues which are choking the field), and so much time spent laying out a vision of education different than the rest of the department. Yes, I don’t expect anything to come from it.
Will Richardson says
Agreed. But as I said, the rhetoric seems to have taken a turn for the better. Is that of any significance?
Alec Couros says
I also agree with Tom re: items “choking the field”, however it is really awesome to see, if only, the rhetoric in this high level document. I’m wishing we had a similar governmental statement in Canada, but I am already planning to use pieces of this doc. to support the work we’ve been been doing in our nation’s schools.
John Weidner, Sr. says
Will, the NETP is quite nice. You commented that their actions are not matching their words.
When you were in Ames back in December, I recommended a book to you titled “Liberating Learning” by Moe and Chubb. I am wagering that the NETP will meet major resistance by forces mentioned in this book.
I hope not.
sylvia martinez says
There is a 60 day comment period for this draft. Anyone who supports, opposes, or has suggestions should definitely submit comments here: http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010
If you use the menu on the right side, you can go to any section of the plan and leave a public comment on that section.
Tim Holt says