Reading the National Education Technology Plan along with John Sees’s article called Developing Effective Technology Plans gave me insight on where Department of Education wants to go with technology use, but also insight on the complexities that are involved when you begin a new plan. In my own words, a technology use plan (in education) is a plan for acquiring, training, and implementing technology with the end result of increasing student achievement. I firmly believe that technology doesn’t replace good teachers, nor can it make poor teachers effective. Technology is a powerful tool that can be used to help teachers and students to learn, share, collaborate, and reflect together.
The 2010 National Technology Plan is a wonderful asset to any group working on technology use planning. First, there was a lot of time and energy put into the national plan and I think the ideas are quite good. Why re-invent the wheel? The ideas are there, just take ideas and suggestions and adapt them to your current situation. Second, I really appreciate that the plan takes in account that technology is in virtually every aspect of our lives. Because of this, we must use technology to make engaging an powerful learning environments for our students. Also, technology allows us to better track data and assessments so that we can continually change and improve our instruction so that our students achieve more. The Technology plan goes into great detail with goals and ideas for implementation. The NETP has a model of learning powered by technology with goals and recommendations in the following areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity. Using this model anyone can use the information for their technology use plan.
John See wrote an article about effective technology use plans and although the article is 15 years old, the main idea is still very relevant today. His main idea was that technology plans should be short term and not long term because technology changes so frequently. I think he is right. More importantly, I agree with him in his thoughts that technology should focus on applications – what about the technology? What are you gonna do with it? How will it help students achieve more? What data can you provide that this technology is helping students learn more and perform better? These questions are and should be part of any technology use plan. I am not in favor of getting new technology like iPads because they are new and cool. True, I love my iPad, but if we are gonna implement them in my elementary school (hypothetically speaking) the return on investment should be an increase in student learning.
I don’t really have any experience with technology use planning except for the fact that in my elementary school we are in the process of getting all teachers iPads and iPod touches for classrooms next year. As the instructional technology leader in my school, I want to make sure that teachers utilize them effectively in their classrooms. Personally, I am worried that a few will take them home and enjoy them without the students gaining anything and I think that defeats the whole purpose. As the trainer in the school, I will work hard to train teachers and give them ideas on how they can use this mobile device to teach more effectively while providing engaging lessons that will help children learn. Like John See said, focus on the output, not the input!
AECT Guidelines Addressed: 5.4 (Long-Range Planning).
US Department of Education. (2010). Transforming American education: Learning powered by technology: National Education Technology Plan 2010. Washington: DC. Retrieved from: http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010
See, J. (1992). Ten criteria for effective technology plans. Computing teacher, 19(8), 34–35. Retrieved from http://www.nctp.com/html/john_see.cfm