Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Cator Says New National Tech Plan Puts Learning First

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Cator Says New National Tech Plan Puts Learning First

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

* Q: WHEN IS A technology plan not a technology plan?

A: When it's the National Education Technology Plan (NETP).

"We were very, very careful to make sure that this did not come off as a technology plan," says Director of the Office of Educational Technology Karen Cator, whose group was responsible for the 100-plus page, year-in-the-making document released by the US Department of Education (ED) in November.

Cator says that it was a high priority for the department that the new technology plan be seen first and foremost as a learning plan, offering a vision for "different kinds of learning environments, replete with better data systems, better assessments, better connections for teachers, better infrastructure."

The plan presents what it calls a "model for learning powered by technology," which focuses on five high impact areas in education: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity. For each area, the plan offers "a whole series of goals and recommendations associated with improving learning, teaching, and assessment"--with technology as a key driver, Cator explains.

In some ways, positioning a national technology plan as a learning plan is consistent with the ED's new approach to technology funding, which has been to integrate tech dollars into other federal programs, rather than support a separate funding source. …

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