President Obama’s NETP plan. Changing education through technology. Can it work?

The US National Education Technology Plan seems to put technology at the forefront of revamping US education. Here are the five goals.

My view is that, while the idea of empowering learning through technology is a good one, there will be a lot of money spent on unnecessary equipment, curriculum rewrites, professional development meetings and programs, special funding for projects to recreate what is already available on the net for little money, intensive testing that does not help students learn etc.. There will be little improvement in the ranks of the 40% of students who do not read well enough to function in an information economy.

The plan will be administered by an education institution that is more interested in perpetrating the present system, and maintaining control, or figuring out how to access funding for pet projects, than in revamping education.

I agree with Stephen Krashen , that the key is to get kids to read, to get them to discover words, lots of words, in different rich contexts, early on in life. Give them stories to read and listen to and let them choose what to listen to and read. Measure their activity, not the results of some arbitrary set of tests,?? and make them responsible for their activity.?? The modern information market place will generate the rest. Teachers will only have to help the students navigate it.

Here are the five goals.

1.0 Learning: Engage and Empower

All learners will have engaging and empowering learning experiences both in and out of school that prepare them to be active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants in our globally networked society.

2.0 Assessment: Measure What Matters

Our education system at all levels will leverage the power of technology to measure what matters and use assessment data for continuous improvement.

3.0 Teaching: Prepare and Connect

Professional educators will be supported individually and in teams by technology that connects them to data, content, resources, expertise, and learning experiences that enable and inspire more effective teaching for all learners.

4.0 Infrastructure: Access and Enable

All students and educators will have access to a comprehensive infrastructure for learning when and where they need it.

5.0 Productivity: Redesign and Transform

Our education system at all levels will redesign processes and structures to take advantage of the power of technology to improve learning outcomes while making more efficient use of time, money, and staff.

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