Director’s Comments On National Technology Plan

Education World provides an interview with Susan Patrick discussing the National Technology Plan. The interview is described as providing a response to criticism of the plan.

My own issues with “The Plan” (previous post) evidently do not surface frequently as criticism. Actually, I guess my concerns are not actually complains about what was said. I simply felt the plan avoided questions that teachers need answered.

One of the quesstions was very close to the issue I raised:

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EW: Other critics argue that the plan emphasizes the “what” (e-learning, digital content) over the “how” (how to address each student’s needs and skills). What are your thoughts on that?

SP: I’m not sure how they get there. The whole goal of the plan is directed to student learning. The plan, in fact, is trying to change the conversation from integration to transformation. It’s not about overlaying tech and putting five computers in the back of the classroom. That’s not enough. It’s about students who use technology to engage themselves, to individualize, to access new content, to learn how to research, and to learn to think critically. If we focus on integrating technology, we won’t realize the true benefit tech offers.

I respectfully disagree. You will have to read the plan yourself to reach your own conclusions. As I suggest in my analysis, the focus on NCLB and test outcomes is clear, but the endorsement of classroom practices is extremely vague. Actually, I am not certain that the focus on test outcomes and “to access new content, to learn how to research, and to learn to think critically” are consistent in the way teachers are likely to read the focus on assessment priorities. I am also not certain how the lack of federal support for technology (see previous post) allows schools to act on this plan.