Articles tagged with Karen Cator

ED releases final version of national ed tech plan


Last week, the Department of Education unveiled its “National Education Technology Plan“—a broad document that outlines how schools can best use all types of technology to provide students with more individualized learning experiences, offer more professional development opportunities for teachers, and use technology to improve district management processes and operations. It’s big and exciting and quite daunting, but what does it all really mean for schools?”Board members and school leaders can look to this document as a way to expand their thinking about technology’s role in their own districts,” says Ann Flynn, NSBA’s director of education technology programs.

The plan centers on five categories: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure and productivity. For example, teaching literacy is one way that these practices might be applied to classrooms: young students could play computer games and watch videos to learn the alphabet and sound each letter. Older students, meanwhile, could link to an online workshop to improve their writing skills.

Flynn added, however, that districts must make sure they have the money to support staff training as well as the technology infrastructure.

“While technology should be transparent across a district and naturally embedded in the vision and budget for delivering particular content or a service, school leaders must ensure that the essential underlying investments in both technical and human infrastructure are supported in districtwide budgets to ensure the promise of those investments,” she said.

Karen Cator, the director of the Education Department’s Office of Educational Technology, answered questions about the plan and its challenges in the October issue of ASBJ. Also read more in School Board News.

Joetta Sack-Min, Associate Editor

Naomi Dillon|November 15th, 2010|Categories: Educational Technology, Policy Formation, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |

Providing 21st century education doesn’t just mean providing technology

1-1232525847nXGsIf you build it, they will come.” That famous line, linked to the baseball movie “Field of Dreams,” sounds like the initial response of many school districts to what you might call the “gee whiz” phase of school technology.

It was the notion that, with all these wonderful electronic tools out there, all you needed was to provide students and teachers with the latest classroom technology, and — voila! great things would happen.

(For the record, Wikipedia says the line was actually “If you build it, he will come” but many people say it the other way.)

We know now that the issue is more complicated than that. We still have countless questions about how children learn, and adding technology to the equation doesn’t necessary make the answers any clearer.

But in my October ASBJ story, I looked at two school districts — one in Central Arizona, the other in Fayetteville, Ark. — that have thought long and deeply about how to use technology, both in the classroom and  throughout their districts and have come up with some impressive road maps for the future.  

Naomi Dillon|September 28th, 2010|Categories: NSBA Publications, Educational Technology, Student Achievement, American School Board Journal|Tags: |
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