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Tuesday's Class

Today we looked at State and National Tech Plans. The State plans were studied by Zhao. In his article he talked about 4 dimensions-Technology, student, teacher, educational goals. In reading about these four dimensions, we found these main ideas:
• Technology- associated as deus ex machina, political document, discussed as utopian, ignores issues of ethics, social, and education
• Student- focused on technology’s ability to improve test scores, state that students become active, social learners simply by the presence of computers, no mention of how teaching and learning must change, individual-based instruction
• Teacher- categorized as gatekeeper, only one categorized as designer, focus on technology not on teacher, teacher acts as a filter, talk about teacher training needs to be a priority, should not be short term
• Educational Goals- focus on economic progress for the future, prepare for the workplace, no focus on equity issues
• Plans need to shift from political rhetoric to functional guides for success which include the resources to make them come true.

Next we looked at the National Educational Technology Plan for 2004. Below are the seven major goals of the plan.
• Seven Major Action Steps and Recommendations
• 1. Strengthen Leadership
• 2. Consider Innovative Budgeting
• 3. Improve Teacher Training
• 4. Support E-Learning and Virtual Schools
• 5. Encourage Broadband Access
• 6. Move Toward Digital Content
• 7. Integrate Data Systems

These seemed to be solid goals with many good examples of how states and districts are meeting them. What is missing are the resources to accomplish these goals. I would like to see the State Plans build upon this document to create some guidelines on how districts can meet these goals.