2010 & Beyond: Recommendations for #NETP16Wednesday, December 16, 20155:48 PM
Last week, the US Department of Education released the new National Educational Technology Plan (#NETP16). It’s been a hot topic this week but was especially meaningful for me, as I spent most of my first semester in a doctoral policy class examining the 2010 plan (NETP10). In this class, I researched the policy, it’s history, and its impact, evaluating quality through equity, efficiency, political feasibility and effectiveness. My policy brief was due last Thursday, in my last night of class, and just a day before the new plan was released.
- The NETP website or read the full policy here
- My post from 11/25, Evaluating the National Educational Technology Plan: An Overview, sharing my full presentation adapted from my brief
- The #EdTechChat Archive from the informative #NETP16 chat on Monday 12/14
- Edsurge: "Grading the 2010 National Education Technology Plan" by Patrícia Gomes and Tony Wan
- Edsurge: "The Next National Education Technology Plan" by Tony Wan
- Tech & Learning: "National Education Technology Plan 2016: What’s Changed?" by Christine Weiser
- EdTechMagazine: "6 Ways the New National Education Technology Plan Could Help Close Achievement Gap" by D. Frank Smith
NETP10 Executive SummaryThe United States’ policy to address education reform in technology planning and integration is the National Educational Technology Plan 2010 [NETP], Transforming American Education Learning Powered by Technology. This five-year plan calls for widespread change that is intended impact education at all levels, focusing on reforms in five areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity (OET, 2010a). According to Dede, the NETP “presents an affordable, transformational, vision for 21st century education, infusing technology into every aspect of learning in school and out” (2011, p. 4). The Obama Administration argues that this plan will help to impact the achievement gap and improve college graduation rates (OET, 2010b, p. 8; OET, 2014a; OET, 2014b). The largest shift in the NETP affects funding, infrastructure, devices, and instruction in the call for all students and teachers to have access to high-speed Internet and devices at school (Waters, 2011; OET 2010a; OET 2010b).
RecommendationsThe NETP is one piece in the larger puzzle of school reform, and while it has meaningful and worthwhile vision, and may have success in the future, the vision for tomorrow must be more concretely applied and measured today. Still, the OET is looking forward, awarding $449,983 to the American Institutes for Research to develop a new NETP, (Future, 2014), still without a plan for evaluating or assessing current policy. Additionally, while the Common Core State Standards [CCSS] place value in technology and require its integration and use, they are being implemented at the same time as the Annual Professional Performance Review [APPR] process, which limits the impact for some schools (Cavanagh, 2013). Whereas the spirit of NETP encourages the use of data to drive technology integration, much of the technology is being used for testing rather than learning (Davis, 2015; Gewertz, 2015). Similarly, technology purchases are often geared towards standardized testing, leading to a problematic execution of the plan. Christopher (2014) found that
To fully evaluate the quality of the NETP, more research is needed to measure both its qualitative and quantitative outputs, both for 2010-2015, and beyond. As the current plan expires and the future plan is released, the following recommendations could lead to future success in the quality and implementation of national educational technology policy and reform:
The OET must establish clear criteria for the success and evaluation of the 2010 NETP.
- Through ConnectEd and other initiatives, the DOE must do more to address cost, access, and equity issues inherent in educational technology reform.
- Technology integration must become a valued part of regular and purposeful teaching, learning, and professional development for all schools.
- The DOE and OET must clarify concrete expectations for states’ participation in and timelines for implementation of educational technology policy and reform.
- The next NETP must include a expand on the transformations described in the 2010 plan, while also including clear plans for funding, budgeting, and evaluation (Byron & Bingham, 2001, p. 2).