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Dede and Rose to Help Draft U.S. National Educational Technology Plan

Professor Chris Dede and Lecturer David Rose, Ed.D.'76, have been tapped to help draft the new National Educational Technology Plan under the U.S. Department of Education. They will coordinate with a team of 14 people -- educators, state and district education technology leaders, policymakers, and researchers -- to create the plan.

"It feels good because too much decision-making in education is just year-to-year or month-to-month. Having a chance to step back and argue what a multiyear strategy should look like whether in educational technology or anywhere else is important," Dede said, noting that he was particularly thrilled that educators were invited to participate. "Technology is a catalyst that sits at the center of a lot of things like curriculum, testing, and professional development."

Rose added that he is delighted that his and Dede's work has been recognized on the national level and is enjoying the ongoing conversations about the draft.

The U.S. Department of Education is developing a new National Educational Technology Plan to provide a vision for how information and communication technologies can help transform American education. It will provide a set of concrete goals that can inform state and local educational technology plans as well as inspire research, development, and innovation. The plan offers a chance for the president and secretary of education to map out a strategy in education, Dede said. It focuses on four areas: learning, assessment, teaching, and productivity.

There have been three national educational technology plans, however, this will be the first plan since 2004. "The reports in the past have been uneven; some have been influential and some have had no impact," Rose said. "My role is to make sure the plan is conclusive of everybody. Universal design is clearly supposed to be a facet of this report. People with disabilities and English Language Learners were not visible in the previous plans and so this is gratifying to see someone in the working group is meant to be representing that issue."

The working group is mixture of people ranging from the technical side to teaching and learning. The group, which has been meeting since July, makes information regularly available on their website, edtechfuture.org,and also welcomes public suggestions. In fact, Technology, Innovation, and Education students were invited to post suggestions for Dede and Rose as part of an online discussion activity this summer.

"A number of reports for national technology are often dominated by people with an axe for technology, which is why it is great to hear student input at the Ed School," Rose said.

Putting together a long-range plan in technology is challenging seeing as though technology changes rapidly. But Dede and Rose don't seem concerned about this issue. "The wheels of education turn so slowly," Dede said. "I think we won't be seriously off target in a four year horizon - even if something new develops that we don't expect.”

By Jill Anderson

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