SECTION 1: TRANSFORMING EDUCATION WITH TECHNOLOGY
There is a major transformation occurring in PK-12 education that is dependent upon the effective use of technology in governance, teaching and learning. This transformation necessarily includes the implementation of a digital learning environment. This document provides a full spectrum of options and guidance for a Local Education Agency (LEA) to facilitate the progression of digital learning for all students.
The NJ Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology (OET) has several inter-related initiatives that are designed to provide resources and tools to assist LEAs in their transformation to provide digital learning for all students. It includes support for implementing NJ Core Curriculum Content Standard (NJCCCS) 8.0, guidance on obtaining affordable broadband for an LEA, and the NJTRAx PARCC Technology Readiness and Digital Learning System. Additional information may be found at: MSRESC NJ DRLAP Broadband Component Project1 and NJ Digital Learning website.
Planning for effective use of technology in an educational institution is necessary to maximize its educational benefit for the students as well as for administrative productivity within the district or school. New technologies and research-based, technology-infused learning models are emerging, and should be investigated by LEAs for possible adoption to remain current so that all students are prepared for life beyond PK-12 education. As Steven Anderson says, "… it can be more effective and meet more desired outcomes if we step back and consider what we are doing, why we are doing, how we will get there and how will we know we've arrived."2 This guidance document is designed to assist in that planning process at the district and school levels, and is directly aligned to the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP).
The NETP provides an overview of progress made in the United States in leveraging technology to transform learning in a variety of ways.3 Transforming learning has begun, and all NJ LEAs will be part of the transformation.
"Focuses on using technology to transform learning experiences with the goal of providing greater equity and accessibility…
When carefully designing and thoughtfully applied, technology can accelerate, amplify, and expand the impact of effective teaching practices. However, to be transformative, educators need to have the knowledge and skills to take full advantage of technology-rich learning environments. In addition, the roles of PK-12 classroom teachers and post-secondary instructors, librarians, families, and learners all will need to shift as technology enables new types of learning experiences.
For these systematic changes in learning and teaching to occur, education leaders need to create a shared vision for how technology best can meet the needs of all learners and to develop a plan that translates the vision into action."4
Please note there are many tools available to assist the LEA/school in developing a useful digital learning plan. Some of the options are:
This document is another such tool that leads the LEA toward the vision of the OET and the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP).