Creating the new schooling paradigm: Educational technology policy priorities, Part 1 [due date: Jan. 20]
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
2. Leverage education technology as a gateway for college and career readiness. Last year, President Obama established a national goal of producing the highest percentage of college graduates in the world by the year 2020. To achieve this goal in the next 10 years, we must embrace new instructional approaches that both increase the college-going rates and the high school graduation rates. By effectively engaging learning through technology, teachers can demonstrate the relevance of 21st century education, keeping more children in the pipeline as they pursue a rigorous, interesting and pertinent PK-12 public education.
6. Leverage technology to scale improvement. Through federal initiatives such as i3 grants, school districts across the nation are being asked to scale up current school improvement efforts to maximize reach and impact. School districts that have successfully led school turnaround and improvement efforts recognize that education technology is one of the best ways to accelerate reform, providing the immediate tools to ensure that all teachers and students have access to the latest innovative instructional pathways. If we are serious about school improvement, we must be serious about education technology.
10. Promote global digital citizenship. In recent years, we have seen the walls that divide nations and economies come down and, of necessity, we've become focused on an increasingly competitive and flat world. Education technology is the great equalizer in this environment, breaking down artificial barriers to effective teaching and learning, and providing new reasons and opportunities for collaboration. Our children are held to greater scrutiny when it comes to learning and achievement compared to their fellow students overseas. We in turn must ensure that all students have access to the best learning technologies.
Those all sound great to me, but I confess that I need to think further about what these would look like in terms of specific legislation or policy initiatives that would be implemented. In other words, for what would we ask legislators and policymakers in order to make these happen?
Ask your legislator
Here in Iowa we’ve been having our own conversations about legislative and policy initiatives for which educators, school board members, business leaders, and others should be advocating. We may not know what the future of schooling is going to look like, but I think we can already identify at least some of what the key building blocks and policy levers are going to be. Here’s a quick list, in no particular order, of some things that we’ve been discussing:
Okay, your turn
You’ve seen our list and ISTE’s. What would you add / change / delete? Contribute your ideas by January 20 and I’ll make a new list that we can collectively rank order in Part 2 of this series. Thanks for participating!
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