U.S. Ed-Tech Plan Prods K-12 to Innovate

Carol’s summary:
Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics and Grown Up Digital, gave a presentation this week at the ASCD annual conference on the Net Generation, encouraging educators to embrace a new pedagogy based on technlogy. His advice dovetails with President Obama’s objective to put a computing device in the hands of every student as part of the first National Educational Technology Plan, which includes the goal of boosting college graduation rates from 40 percent to 60 percent by 2020.

As we build online learning platforms for students, we need to create modules that weigh in what the data tells us about how students optimally learn. I agree with Tapscott’s philosophy: “We can’t just throw technology in a classroom and expect good things,” notes Tapscott. We need to move away from an outdated, broadcast-style of pedagogy (i.e., lecture and drilling) toward student-focused, multimodal learning, where “the teacher’s no longer in the transmission of data business; she’s in the customizing-learning-experiences-for-students business.” One of the new challenges for educators is to bridge the digital divide and embrace technology that transforms learning for a more competitive workforce.

The Obama administration urged educators and policymakers today to embrace a host of digital-learning approaches it says will make K-12 schools better, including putting a computing device in the hands of every student.

Guided by an overarching goal set by President Barack Obama to raise national college-completion rates from 40 percent to 60 percent by 2020, the first National Educational Technology Plan issued by his administration outlines the big-picture approaches it says U.S. schools need to employ in the areas of classroom learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity to help meet that goal.

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