At the end of day one of the NECC conference – attended a most interesting session hosted by Margaret Honey from the EDC Centre for Children and Technology in New York titled “A retrospective on 20 years of national technology policy”. Margaret and her group analysed 28 key, national policy documents from the last 20 years as part of a contribution to the development of the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP).
I’ve used the extented entry to record my notes from this session – made me appreciate (yet again) just how important it is to reflect on where we’ve come from when planning for the future.
A RETROSPECTIVE ON 20 YEARS OF NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY PLANNING
Begin by asking…
– why do we produce policy papers? what is their value?
Three key reasons emerge
– to influence policy and decision makers
– to enable money and resources to follow
– to keep the fundamental debates alive
Three Key questions used in the analysis of the 28 papers..
1 – why have we chosen to invest in educational technologies?
2 – what have been the requisite steps to ensureeffective use?
3 – what are the assumptions that underpin the decisions?
Summary of analysis re question one – investment – common themes from the papers…
– technology is a tool to enable things to be done more efficiently, effectively etc
– technology is a change agent
– technology as a force for economic competitiveness
Recommendations that are consistent in these papers
– improve access and connectivity
– create more high quality resources and software
– provide sustained professional development
– increase funding from multiple sources
– increase and diversify research
– review, revise and update policy
Focus of working party – How can future policy…
– shape practice?
– link to public concerns? (eg quality, equity etc.)
– build on past successes?
Really interesting to note that the recommendations in many of the white papers studied haven’t been followed through. eg 1992 paper recommended use of technology to enable assessment, and another, earlier, recommending the increased use of distance education.
NOTE- need to develop policy that encourages exploring possibilities, and NOT to work from or to enforce compliance with standards etc.