In 1996, the first federal program dedicated to ensuring universal access to information and communications technology for improved teaching and learning in the nation’s schools was launched. This post (light on analysis, heavy on the archiving of primary source material) is one for the wonks: a historical record of federal education programs and funding intended to ‘help every child in every school utilize technology to achieve high standards.’
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While most people surely love a good layer cake, the layers of provisions governing the new educational technology program in ESSA are nothing if not overly complicated. The overall purpose of this program is to increase the capacity of states, districts, schools, and local communities to…”improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.” Were it that simple…
While Congress has given us a new federal education law (and educational technology program) and the Obama Administration has given us a new national educational technology plan, I’d contend there is little coherence or evidence of a theory of action underlying the federal role for technology in K-12 education as of the start of 2016. This post kicks off a multi-part series considering 20+ years of federal education technology policy toward the end of suggesting a more productive role going forward. It is my hope that this series of posts helps spur deeper consideration of this important education policy issue.
I have a confession to make. I work in K-12 education in the U.S., and I am merely a fan – not a fanboy – of open educational resources (OER). I suspect that some will claim that this is a difference without a distinction. Others surely see me as some sort of OER fanatic. I beg to disagree.
A timely new report argues that federal policymakers ought to rethink accountability provisions in a new ESEA in light of innovations in personalized learning. Color me unpersuaded in terms of both the diagnosis of the policy issue at hand and the proposed remedies.