NECC day 2 – National Technology Plan

Am sitting in the middle of a presentation by Susan Patrick form the US Dept of Education, titled “Are Schools Ready for Today’s Students? – A sneak preview of the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP)”. I’m using the extended entry to record my notes from this presentation as it happens – cool eh?
Key points from this presentation

  • change in how funding is provided – now targetting specific educational goals – and matching appropriate hardware/software, PD and resource development to help meet that goal
  • use of online assessment to create more meaningful assessment through immediacy of feedback and use of assessment data to inform future planning
  • need to collect and use data about students to inform future planning – most of this data exists within the business and commercial community, rather than within education.

Three major forces impacting change on Ed Tech policy
– economy is changing and is a major force on Education
– students are different today
– eudcational system as we know it is going through major changes

1 – Economy
– 60% of jobs in 2010 don’t even exist today (dept. of labour)
– will be information-based in a changing world
– global issues – other couint4ries are catching up really fast
– in the past three years the size of the world’s workforce has doubled (Craig Barrett)
– US has the second highest investment in technology per student – but rates very low in terms of achievement in science and maths
– productivity paradox – businesses had to first re-structure their operation before realising the benefits of technology
– shcools have an achievement paradox – despite a decade of investment in technology, achievement indicators have remained flat
– ed system must re-engineer its processes – achievement, delivery, instructional strategies etc.
– need for investment in professional development
– changes in federal funding of ICT in the US:
First – hardware and infrastructure
Second – professional development
Now – focus on educational goal, outcomes, need – then determine what hardware/software and PD is required to achieve that goal.

3 priorites for US Tech Plan
– student data and management systems
– assessment
– eLearning

Student data and management
– use of data to individualise student learning programmes
– tracking and recording achievement, planning to meet student needs
– need for fully integrated information system – central focus is a data warehouse, enabling all users to draw information from a variety of data sources – then act on it to bring about change in achievement

– increase timeliness of testing and return of test results
– current test results from a paper-based testing approach inform instruction
– online testing provides immediate feedback – then able to immediately tailor instruction for the individual
– expensive to set up initially, but return over time is
– expect return on investment in three years (based on Oregon tiral)

– one way of offering choice in rural areas
– opportunity for teachers to access PD and higher ed.
– encouraging development of state virtual schools through different funding models

Average exenditure per pupil has risen from around $3000 per student in 1984 to around $8000 in 2004 – while the achievement levels as reflected by national testing has remained flat. CONCLUSION – despite the dramatic increase in spending on education per student, there has been no increase in maths/science proficiency. Gaps that exist between ethnic groups also a major concern.

Third major force – STUDENTS
– we are teaching a different generation of students – the MIllenials
– major undertaking to explore how students are using technology in school, out of schools – found that noone had any data on students – businesses, market reseachers etc had more data than the educational professionals!

MILLENIALS – data from commercial research groups…
– born between 1982 and 2000
– have come of age along with the internet
– information ahs been universally available and free to them
– community is a digital plance
– family is important to them
– beleive education is critically important to their future success
– interested in their world and community
– have substantial purchasing power (20% of teens own stock)
– live their lives online – use computers at home more than TV (ave 24 hours per week compared with ave of 15 mins per week at schools)
– concerning stats re student perceptions of school – steady decline in the last twenty years

– to create learning environments that are more suited to the needs of the Millenials

3 thoughts on “NECC day 2 – National Technology Plan

  1. this is good coverage and I will be interested to see what the transfer of this is into the e-learning strategy development you are doing

    We will need weeks to be able to debrief some or all of this. Have you seen any trends, ideas and directions tht have not so far been considered in the NZ situation???

  2. Thanks Nick
    Yes – there’s plenty to think about. The move to targetting funding to educational goals is consistent with the NZ direction, but I have concerns about the practical implementation of this philosophy.
    A couple of things that I think we need to look at for the NZ context:

    1 – we need to be sure that any policy we create encourages initiative, rather than becoming focused on standards and adopting an ‘instrumental’ approach to the use of assessment data etc.

    2 – we seriously need to undertake research into identifying the characteristics of NZ kids in the ‘millenium’ generation. I’ve already raised this with MoE and NZCER earlier in the year – based on my interest int he work of Tapscott in 1998 in the US

    There’s a start…

  3. The challenge about researching NZ kids is also in researching their contexts – what is there already?

    and I fully endorse the idea of encouraging initiative, because although good ideas will win through, sometimes a lack of encouragement makes for a lot of casualties and wasted opportunities.

    Keep up the good work!

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