Team 2 - Pro
Team 6 - Con

Build your position with research - make a statement, cite a source that supports that statement.

Pro Statements


In President Obama’s 2009 Address to Congress, he stated that” by the year 2020 the United States would have the highest per capita graduation rate in the world.” In order to meet this goal we as educators are going to have to find new and innovative ways to meet the needs of all students. Education is not a one size fits all. Technology is changing the way we teach. With technology, the tools are available to differentiate and support all learning from the student in the classroom to professional development. With online blending, the classroom can become transparent, parents, teachers, administrators and students can create a learning environment that is both flexible and interactive. Technology can bridge the gap between all the stakeholders in education and help the students build the skills they will need to move into the workplace.

Resources available online allow both students and teachers the ability to access the most creative and innovative professionals in any field of study. Instead of hearing a lecture in the class, a student can immediately access the latest research in the field. Teachers can connect to a learning community for tips and ideas about how to teach a concept. By globalizing the classrooms all parties can take on differentiated roles and find their own Zone of Proximal Development.

It is a fear that technology will replace the teacher, but research has proven that learning is social and teaching is an Art. Classroom design and the role of the teacher are changing; computers will not replace the classroom experience. Through modeling and scaffolding, teachers can use technology to utilize class time more efficiently. Like in the business world, creativity and innovation will drive the next phase. It is the responsibility of all parties involved in education to reinvent how we teach in order to adapt to how students learn. By integrating all resources available, educators can motivate even the most reluctant learner and reach the goal of having the highest graduation rate in the world by the year 2020.

Public Broadcasting Service . (2011, February). Digital media new learners of the 21st century. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from

Camille Lutz (Team 2 – Pro Statement)

*Much of the failure of our education system stems from a failure to engage students.

*What students need to learn and what we know about how they learn have changed and therefore the learning experiences we provide should change.

The previous statements are from “Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology” and I believe they are full of truth. As high school educators, now is the time to embrace technology and begin transforming our classrooms into the learning environments necessary for our students to successfully meet the demands of the 21st century. In an environment where teenagers use technology to link with the world in a matter of seconds, it is only natural we improve our teaching styles to meet the demands and challenges our students face. Digital literacy is no longer a simple text book on-line and learning must move from the standard lecture to interactive learning. With a tremendous transfer in our technology culture, it is necessary to shift from learning the “fast and easy answers” to deeper understanding and solving complex problems.

Scherer interviewed Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology, and found digital literacy for today’s students focuses on three parts: 1) the ability to use digital information well- find it, consume it, analyze it, and leverage it to solve a problem; 2) the ability to use media and digital technologies to communicate and collaborate effectively; and 3) the development of digital citizenship, or on-line etiquette (2011). Students interact through social media on a regular basis; in fact, more and more adults interact through social media on a daily basis. It seems only natural to encourage learning experiences online and outside of the classroom (not to be confused with traditional homework assignments). In today’s world of technology students are able to access more learning resources than would ever be available in a print-based classroom and it is necessary for educators to model learning and teaching through digital literacy. Schools will better serve students when instruction is individualized, personalized, and differentiated; all of this will be met through the 2010 National Education Technology Plan.

Office of Educational Technology U.S. Department of Education. (2010, March 5). Transforming american education: Learning powered by technology. Retrieved from on February 6, 2012.

Scherer, M. (2011, February). Transforming Education with Technology. Educational Leadership. Retrieved from on February 6, 2012.

Danielle Hauser

The world of technology has developed tools so powerful connected learners can be any age from any part of the world. Educators facilitate learning, technology enhances and supports learning. Technology creates an interactive world where the former quiet student develops a strong voice.

For educators technology will enhance professional learning opportunities. Technology will increase the opportunities for differentiated instruction. As the call for accountability increases technology will be needed to support professional learning teams analyze student academic performance data. Dr. Fishman, an author of the NETP, stated, “Knowing how to use technology and knowing how to use it for teaching are extremely different skills.” The NETP will move the education field forward. It is a change agent that will have an impact on the way educators and students learn. As educators we need to embrace technology and once that happens doors will open for both students and educators.

The students we teach are touched everyday by some form of technology. It is no surprise the technology plan calls for a technology rich learning environment used to increase academic achievement. The technology will be an additional resource to assist students organize, study, research, and learn. Dr. Fishman also stated, “The focus or shift in the 2010 policy is moving from the industrial age of education to the information age of education. The new plan is about rethinking education with a focus on questions such as these: what we teach, how we teach, where students learn, when students learn, how we assess students etc. One of the biggest changes in the 2010 plan is that it’s not technology that matters; it’s how we support and organize student learning. Technology’s role is to support teaching and learning.”

The first goal of the plan is, “All learners will have engaging and empowering learning experiences both in and outside of school that prepare them to be active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants in our globally networked society.” Technology removes the barriers of a classroom. Technology makes the world the student’s classroom and students.

Stephe. (2011, July 2). National Education Technology Plan. [Blog]. Retrieved from education-technology-plan/.

Christina Ordonez
On front cover of the National Educational Technology Plan 2010 one thing stands out: the word “LEARNING.” Learning is what is at the center of this technology plan. The NETP is appropriate for recreating education. Just watching some of the greatest minds of our time, it’s easy to see how the goals of NETP are supported.

2002, Mae Jameson: Human creativity is what “allows us to conceive and build and launch a space shuttle” (7:33). Like goal 1.2, she encourages the connection of the types of human learning. This thought is a tenant today in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) classrooms. This reach for intuitiveness is part of what the NETPs recommend.

2004, Salman Khan: There’s a new type of classroom where students watch a lecture at night for homework, and teachers spend class time differentiating instruction based on student needs. What he was describing is now known as a “flipped classroom.” It was through his “rethinking of the basic assumptions in our education system” (NETP 2010 5.2) that students’ learning is customized. This reimaging of the educational system is part of what the NETPS recommend.

2006, Richard Baraniuk: “Open Sourced Learning” is where textbooks can be ripped, copied, and burned with the ease of a CD. In 2012, Apple gave an easy way for the world to do just that with iBooks and iTunesU. Schools that support this type of Open Sourced Learning are following goal 4.3 and are part of what the NETPS recommends.

2007, Alan Kay: Children have an intuition for using technology. Although $5 million could be spent on laptops for children, without the teachers to create something out of that technology, learning is missing (19:26). Students just can’t be given technology; they need trained teachers to show them how to apply the technology to learn (NETP 2010 3.4). This support for teacher technology education is part of what the NETPS recommends.

2010, Ali Carr-Chellman: The educational system is failing boys, but educational video games could help to save them. We need to “design better games” filled with depth and rich narratives (10:00), which is fully supported by goal 2.3. This look at better assessments is part of what the NETPS recommends.

For every goal, there is an expert who will show how it is imperative to increasing student learning. And isn’t a plan that increases student learning one that should be followed?

Final Pro Statement
In response to Jim Britton

You bring up an important point, effective teaching does not equate to needing technology, nor do I believe that is the point of the National Educational Technology Plan. It is through leadership, support, and evaluation that technology would be implemented effectively. Technology is a robust resource available. Derrick Waddel, Instructional Technology Support Specialist for Cullman County Schools in Alabama, posted questions teachers need answer before deciding on an educational tool to use. Not every lesson needs to or should incorporate technology; teachers still need to implement best practices. Technology is an option or tool that can enhance the learning and at times make it more relevant. “What do I want the students to learn? What tools are available to me and the students? Which tools will give the students the best opportunity for success?” As educators we are not in the business of creating “cyborg teachers.” That takes the instructional leadership to have an understanding of the Nets for teachers, administrators and for students. District 211’s mission similar to several across the country is, ““The Mission of Township High School District 211 is to serve the educational needs of the community by developing and implementing quality programs which challenge students to achieve their potential to become contributing, informed citizens capable of meeting the demands of a changing world.” In order to teach our students to be global connected learners we must incorporate educational technology into what we do. Teachers, not the technology, control the curriculum and instruction.

Danielle Hauser

D. Waddell. (2011, September 28) The Tools of the Trade: Educational Technology [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Ringstaff, C., Kelley, L., & WestEd, S. A. (2002). The Learning Return on Our Educational Technology Investment: A Review of Findings from Research.

Final Pro Statement
In response to Eric Dolen

Eric, I think you and I have very similar thoughts. I firmly believe we can focus on teaching students how to think, learn, and question through many avenues, technology being one of them. I don’t see it as much as incorporating technology into our classrooms as I see learning to use technology within our lesson plans. If my initial statement sounded different, I apologize.

I can understand your concern regarding the mandate. But as you said, our current system has proven unsuccessful for many schools and districts. However, that does not mean a new and better approach can’t be taken to make this plan more successful. People and organizations learn from their mistakes, I am confident the national educational technology plan will be better handled than the most recent NCLB fiasco. You recommend Illinois schools implement locally initiated educational policies instead of federal ones. I am not sure those would be better than working with federal policies because I don’t have much faith in either set of stakeholders. In a study written by Linda Darling-Hammond, she suggests individual states should focus on policies regarding teacher education, licensing, hiring, and professional development. If Illinois focused on such policies there may be a difference in the qualifications and capacities educators bring to their work, thus making it easier to meet the demands of national mandates.

I realize stakeholders play an important role in policies and mandates, and I recognize the need for that to change, but until that does we need to find a way to embrace such mandates so that our students can directly benefit from them. Regardless of who initiated the need for NETP, the ideas within it are set to benefit teaching and learning in the 21st century.

Darling-Hammond, L. (2000). Teacher quality and student achievement: A review of state policy evidence. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 8 (1), 1-44. Retrieved from

Con Rebuttal

Dana Batterton: Team 6: Con Rebuttal
Response to Denise Mitchell

Denise brings up some interesting points, but I question how technology will impact learning in a positive way. In addition, schools need funding and resources to support such technology and I am just not sure that all schools are capable of getting such funding (and if the funding will be available through 2020 and beyond).

One point brought up is that students can access a lecture online and continue learning outside of the classroom. The only way to do this is to supply each student with the technology to support such a curriculum. This would entail purchasing some sort of electronic device for students to use outside of the classroom to complete homework such as this. We can’t assume that every student has access to a computer and has the means to complete such an assignment. I currently struggle with assigning an essay to be typed out of class because I have students that don’t have computers or the technology to complete such a task at home.

In addition, what is to say that incorporating such technology will motivate students to excel and increase the graduation rate? I don’t believe that technology is enough to change a student’s motivation to succeed. Students first need to be motivated intrinsically and then extrinsically. Adding another component (technology) doesn’t make it easier or more exciting for students to do their work and get closer to graduation.

Jim Britton
Rebuttal of Danielle Hauser

n the vision espoused by Ms. Hauser, the focus on the art of teaching has been blurred by a reliance on technology as the medium by which learning occurs. Learning occurs through interaction, communication, and collaboration. We must be careful not to become something less than human, a "cyborg teacher," whose humanity is blunted by machine. Ben Rimes (2010), although an avid supporter of educational technology, cautions us, "The temptation of using technology to 'spruce up' a tired lesson plan, or create a more engaging learning experience is overtaking education today." He too reminds us, "Some of the most effective teaching strategies can be implemented without the use of an interactive whiteboard, a document camera, or a flashy iMovie intro video." We must not let the medium for teaching replace the teacher, or the very human act of learning. Just as technology can support and enhance learning, it can also serve as a barrier to the connections that occur between student and teacher.

Rimes, B. (2010, November 16). The Fading Art of Teaching Without Technology [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Eric Dolen - Team 6 Rebuttal to Camille Lutz

Camille, I agree with most of what you have to say with respect to the importance of using technology to enhance learning. However, I feel that we need to focus more on teaching students how to think and how to learn and how to question more than focusing efforts about how to incorporate technology within our classrooms. We need to remember that technology in and of itself is nothing more than a just tool. Technology to students should be viewed the same way the relationship a craftsman has to the tools of his trade. Learning how to use the tools is important; however, it is more imperative to know how to utilize the tools to create wonderful things. Just as a craftsman’s tools of the trade will change over time, so too will technological tools. We need to not be careful not to confuse using technology with the act of teaching and learning.
With that said, the main argument I have against a national educational technology plan is that in our current system, most nationally unfunded mandates have proven to be marginally successful at best. Most tend to hamstring local school districts and educators and cause more harm than good. Do you feel that a national plan will help or hinder school districts like D211 across the country? Once again, unfortunately, educational reform becomes a political football to help national politicians get elected. Most recently, the success of the No Child Left Behind Act has come into question.
Jeff Byrant (2011) writes,” now that nearly half of the public schools in America have been deemed "failing," according to NCLB standards, even though everyone agrees the standards for failing are "defective," most states are jumping through all kinds of hoops in order to get around what is still the law of the land. What results, of course, is time, energy, and resources going toward anything but the crucial matter at hand: real teaching and learning.” Our national policies and our current educational systems prove time and time again to be unproductive. Real reform must begin from the foundation of our system. We cannot serve three masters- national, state and local regulators. Until we adopt a true national education system, Illinois schools must implement locally initiated educational policies not federal ones.

Bryant, Jeff. (2011) When Lessons from Education "Reform" Go Unlearned. National Policy Education Center. December 22, 2011., retrieved February 14, 2012

James Britton: Team 6: Con rebuttal (2nd posting)
Response to Denise Mitchell

Denise, you proclaim that some people fear that technology may replace teachers. That fear is not new, yet for me the fear is what gets lost in the teaching through technology. Over 20 years ago, Neil Postman (1990) declared, "A new technology tends to favor some groups of people and harms other groups. School teachers, for example, will, in the long run, probably be made obsolete by television, as blacksmiths were made obsolete by the automobile, as balladeers were made obsolete by the printing press. Technological change, in other words, always results in winners and losers." The plan should examine not only the promised utopia of technology but also the capacities of techology to erode the medium through which all learning passes, those of human interactions. What may get lost in the transformation to the imagined vision of education created in NETP? What happens when the teacher is once removed? I ask you, those who espouse the limitless merit of technology, why do many of us in this very class still prefer to join together in person to guide and support one another?

Postman, N. (1990). Informing ourselves to death. Retrieved from

Dana Batterton: Team 6: Con Rebuttal (2nd posting)
Response to Camille Lutz

How is the National Education Technology Plan any different from any other top down, political movement in education? While I believe there is some merit to the plan and how it encourages teachers to incorporate technology in the classroom, we are still not dealing with the current issues in education and how to improve student achievement. I hesitate to believe that technology is the solution to retaining good teachers and improving student achievement. Anna Weinstein posted an article on stating “Many believe that since NCLB, teachers have become overly focused on the testing rather than student learning (2012). This is a major concern for Obama. Our current system puts so much focus on “failing” schools, standardized tests, and teaching to the test- that we have lost touch with what students need to be successful learners. While the National Education Technology Plan outlines goals that focus on teaching, learning, assessment, productivity, and infrastructure- the focus should not be centered on how technology shapes these components, rather how technology can aid student achievement.

Weinstein, A. (2012). Obama on No Child Left Behind. Retrieved from on February 15, 2012.

Eric Dolen Team 6 - Rebuttal to Christina Ordonez (second posting)

Christina, you make some very valid points, and honestly it is difficult for me to argue against them. However, the point that Alan Kay makes in your statement acknowledges the investment that will be needed to implement this plan: Although $5 million could be spent on laptops for children, without the teachers to create something out of that technology, learning is missing. Students just can’t be given technology; they need trained teachers to show them how to apply the technology to learn (NETP 2010 3.4). This support for teacher technology education is part of what the NETPS recommends. Not only will money be needed to purchase new hardware and software, there will be a large investment needed to train preservice and current teachers to use these tools to educate our children.

Once again, the federal government should not be such plans since the United States views education as a function of the States, and in Illinois education tend to be a function of local school boards. Cathy Ringstaff and Kelly Loretta state in their report, The Learning Return on Our Educational Technology Investment: A Review of Findings from Research that policy makers must understand under what conditions technology has the most benefits for students? With school districts across the country having to do more with less, the return on our investment in the newest technology may not be as great as the federal government had hoped. Only local school districts can make the correct decision about what is the best way to utilize their state and local resources.

Ringstaff, C., Kelley, L., & WestEd, S. A. (2002). The Learning Return on Our Educational Technology Investment: A Review of Findings from Research.

Con Statements

Jim Britton

The National Educational Technology Plan, while comprehensive and ambitious, does not provide a blueprint to an actual structure but merely presents the sketch of a dream. The document falls short of a detailed proposal but stands as a statement of a vision, heavy on theory with “insufficient examples of implementation programs” (Meyers, 2010). As Johnson (2011) points out, the architects of NETP have their feet planted in academia, not the actual classrooms in which the plan would be built, the classrooms and schools of America. Therefore, the NETP falls short not on vision but on application within actual contexts, including the current climate of fiscal constraints and restrictive accountability measures. A major question left unanswered by NETP is “how we are going to financially re-engineer the education system” (Meyers, 2010). Even a well-developed blueprint, without the materials to build, will remain only something imagined. The document was written in an era of funding cuts where basic educational needs are hard to fill. The technology imagined is not affordable for many of the schools. Those that do not have the funds will fall further behind. Grants and philanthropy will not fill the void, and the technological divide will become a chasm unless the inequities are addressed. The vision laid out in the plan for more individualized, differentiated instruction through technology can be clouded by a system of accountability that measures student and teacher success against their performance on standardized tests (Johnson, 2011). AS NETP grants, “Most of the assessment done in schools today is after the fact and designed to indicate only whether students have learned” (U.S. Department of Education, 2010, p. 25). Technology can aid formative assessment and the analysis of summative knowledge and skills so that instructional adjustments can be made. Yet, because of the context of Race to the Top and its concurrent accountability measures, such strategies are not emphasized (Johnson, 2011). Test performance becomes the focus; what students “have learned” becomes tied into a reflection of teacher quality. Here again, the vision for educational technology’s role becomes filtered and even distorted by the current context.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology. (2010). , Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology, Washington, D.C., retrieved from Retrieved from

Meyers, A. (2010, June 4). An outsider's critique of the National Education Technology Plan [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Johnson, S. (2011, January 21). The National Education Technology Plan - Final reflections and the way ahead. Retrieved from

Eric Dolen - team 6
The National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) rolled out by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the Obama administration in November of 2010 is presents an ambitious agenda. According to the administration, the NETP is driven by two clear goals. First, increase the percentage of American adults that are college graduates from the current 41% to the goal of 60% by 2020. Second, close the achievement gap so that all students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers. The plan places emphasis upon 21st century learning competencies and discusses solutions of how to transform American education in very general generic terms. The NTEP appears to be a more of a “to-do” list rather than a plan with any substance. The NETP really does not have a plan of how to meet the two goals they set. I believe national government would be better served solving the social issues that create the wide distribution of wealth, which in turn, leads to our achievement gap. Non- technological social justice should be the focus of the national government. Simply providing each student access to broadband internet and their own computer is “far too little… far too late”. The state and local governments should be given the needed resources to decide and employ their own technology plans. Clearly, more federal, unfunded mandates or decrees have proven to be extremely ineffective.
A passage within the NTEP states that technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives. It goes on to suggest that utilizing technology will be the panacea. Somehow the thought is that technology will somehow produce students prepared and ready to learn 24/7. Sadly, the NETP is just another political ploy to distract people from the major issues facing American public education. Technology should play an important role in educating our youth.
I feel educators should remember that technology is a tool for teachers to use and cannot take center stage. Jeffery R. Young (2010) of “The Chronicle of Higher Learning” writes, of Mark James, a visiting lecturer at the University of West Florida that declared his English literature technology free. He found that his students became more involved and attentive and were able to go into deeper depth with their conversations. There is still a place for “low tech” instructional methods as many students report “PowerPoint fatigue” and long for more human interactions.

Dana Batterton: Team 6: Con Statement

There are apparent issues with the National Educational Technology Plan. The three areas where teachers and schools will struggle to implement this plan are: resources/training, funding, and time. For starters, many districts and schools lack the resources and training to evaluate current processes and to incorporate new technology. In order to create lessons and assessment involving technology, schools need the funding and time. This plan sounds great on paper and even when Arnie Duncan introduces it in one of the below YouTube videos, but the plan lacks substance, development, and implementation. I’m afraid teachers and schools will see the NETP as a flavor of the month and hesitate to focus on making these changes in education. While the NETP seems to incorporate 21st Century Skills, it is unclear how to connect these with the use of technology. Technology costs money, teachers need the resources to create new lessons and assessments, and overall time is needed for teachers to collaborate and share how technology can be used and is being used in the classroom.

Here are three short YouTube videos that introduce the NETP, provide resources for teachers to give feedback, and examples of how technology is being used in the classroom. All of these videos highlight the great changes in education from the NETP, but they fail to explain the implementation, funding, and resources needed for the program’s success.

In this first video, Arnie Duncan introduces the NETP 2010 draft.

This next video is narrated by David Rose who asks for feedback on the NETP. While I appreciate the opportunity to give feedback, I am unsure how my teacher feedback will be used and what impact this will have on the NETP.

This last video shows examples of how teachers have used technology in the classroom. A significant amount of time, sharing, and professional development is needed to develop such resources. It would also be difficult for teachers to change their teaching philosophies and implement the use of social media, blogs, and other on-line resources to fully implement what the NETP states.

Pro Rebuttal

Response to James Britton
It all comes down to priorities. Educators are stuck in 20th Century, using 19th Century methods, to educate 21st Century students. Money, resources, and training are concerns because we cannot think outside of the box. First, educators need to decide if technology is important to incorporate in the classroom. Then, educators need to use both sides of the brain to problem. Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education and former Apple executive states, “there is available funding—if not more funding—than in previous years.” School districts need to leverage the resources to look for grants and funding opportunities. There are plenty of free resources available for teachers and students. Money should not be a reason not to move forward with educational technology in the classroom. It is a matter of school priorities. If you believe the world is flat, technology needs to be in every classroom for students to create, innovate, explore, or problem solve.
Don Knezek, ISTE CEO, states, “If we’re really serious about strengthening U.S. schools and helping our students to compete in a global economy, we must make a serious commitment to education technology. Countries around the world recognize the essential role ed tech plays in school improvement and student success. It’s time for U.S. policy to catch up.”
As Mr. Britton stated, “Technology can aid formative assessment and the analysis of summative knowledge and skills so that instructional adjustments can be made.” If technology will assist teachers in the learning process should it not be a priority in the budget?
“The first, a U.S. Department of Education-funded study of nine technology-rich schools, concluded that the use of technology resulted in educational gains for all students regardless of age, race, parental income, or other characteristics. [GET THIS] The second, a 10-year study supported by Apple Computer, Inc., concluded that student provided with technology-rich learning environments ‘continued to perform well on standardized tests but were also developing a variety of competencies not usually measured.” Make educational technology priority.
A doctor tells you to eat healthy, exercise, and take care of your mind and you increase your chances of living a healthy life or to get healthy. We know technology needs to be in students’ hands in order from them to compete in a global market. “The future will not wait for us, and if we don’t invent it, something else will,” (Friedman, 2007, p. 390).
No more excuses, we need to make it happen. Danielle Hauser

Friedman, T. L. (2007). The world is flat : a brief history of the twenty-first century / Thomas L. Friedman. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
Herbert, M. (2010). Big Steps for National Education Technology Plan. District Administration, 46(5), 12.
ISTE. (2011, January 18). 2011 U.S. Education Technology Priorities. Retrieved from 18/ISTE_RELEASES_2011_U_S_EDUCATION_TECHNOLOGY_PRIORITIES.aspx

Technology's Impact on Learning [Webpost]. Retrieved from

Response to Dana Batterton

The three major issues you have with the NETP are implementation, funding, and resources. In my opinion, the answer to many of these issues can be found with a cursory sweep of Google. There are thousands of schools who have implemented these recommendations, who have found funding for these projects, and who have posted googols of resources. But beyond that, the Department of Education, which put out the NETP, has resources available as well.

On the issue of funding, Title One grants, which PHS and HEHS have the ability to access, allow and, in fact, encourage the use of technology to help the target students. Not only can the grant money be used to purchase devices, but also software, services, accessories, and to provide training and professional development for teachers and students. The only caveat is that it can only be used to enhance the educational experience for the target group, not to supplant other costs. Still, it does help to ease some of the funding burden for some schools, and may serve as a starting point to test technology before going large scale in a district.

Regarding resources, the Learning Registry was devised in November 2011. From its site:
“The Learning Registry will help improve access and use of learning resources in the following ways:

  • Enable repositories to share anonymous usage data about learning resources (e.g., ratings, reviews, instructional use, pedagogy, content areas, links shared, social networks;
  • Provide a mechanism for integrating learning resources with usage data to provide more sophisticated recommendations, usage analysis, and research on user behavior; and
  • Create opportunities for better integration of existing resources into larger, more complete and useful works. “
In just a few months, there are already a multitude of resources available.

As for implementation, my question is: do you REALLY want the government telling you exactly how to implement this? I would rather have the freedom to choose the best implementation process for my school, my staff, and my students rather than be told how. For example, if there had to be a required technology class (not that I’m saying that is a bad thing!) it would take away from electives, which would lead to other detriments. I would rather find ways for all teachers to incorporate these recommendations in their own ways.

I would like to leave you with one question: Being that funding and resources are available and that you have the ability to say how you would implement this into your curriculum, why wouldn’t you want to use the recommendations of the NETP to increase student learning?

Christina Ordonez

Response to Eric Dolen
Rebuttal from Camille Lutz

While I can understand your concern of a “to-do” list from the NETP, I cannot help think that if we continue to do the same things we have always done, we are bound to get the same results. I am confident many educators would agree in order to better prepare our students for the world of technology, we need to change our current use of technology and expectations both in and out of the classroom. Additionally, if the NETP set forth a specific plan for schools to meet the goals, administrators and educators would be frustrated by what would feel like stringent rules that must be followed, and we all agree a “one size fits all” approach has never worked in education.

With the push for 21st century skills, the NETP looks to ensure technology not an add-on, but a means for reaching the instructional objectives in a classroom. I will admit, when I was in high school, I took a typing class, but I have never heard of a class called “pencil.” For over a decade our district has had several computer classes for students to take as electives. Isn’t it time all educators are held accountable for incorporating technology into their lessons? I can’t think of many professions (or job for that matter) that don’t require the use of some kind of technology and the goal of a high school teacher should be to prepare students for the adult world.

Response to Eric Dolen –Team 6
Denise Mitchell

Technology is not only a tool for teachers to use; it is “center stage” in the business world. Is it our job as teachers to prepare our students to be college and career ready? We have to expose our students to what is available, tools to help them learn as well as collaborative networks to market and share their ideas. Sir Ken Robinson addresses how schools need to revolutionize to prepare our students for the next phase of development. Creativity, Problem solving, collaboration are skills imperative for the 21st century student.

Response to Jim Britton
Denise Mitchell

As the American public education system focuses on performance and standardized tests, research is currently being conducted on how to bring education to the least educated around the world. Technology is used to level the playing field in third world nations. The same model can be used to access education in rural areas in our country. Sugata Mitra explains how the globalization of education has changed opportunities for children. His “Hole in the Wall” project is an example of how “education is a self-organizing system, where learning is an emergent phenomenon.” (Sugata Mitra). He proves through research in India and Africa that by appealing to student interests and providing opportunity through technology, all students can learn. In America non educators are driving education through assessments, around the world, the focus is on student learning and providing opportunity. Mitra is revolutionizing education through SOLES, self- organizing learning environments.

Response to Eric Dolen

I absolutely agree with you that social issues should take center stage. The gap in wealth definitely creates a gap in achievement. Ruby Payne mentions this many times in her book, A Framework for Understanding Policy. It is also reflected in the Mathew Effect, an economic effect that shows that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer - economically and academically. However, unlike your argument, I believe that the NETP actually helps to achieve this gap. Instead of just a blanket statement to give kids the technology and let them go, the NETP gives educators goals to hold them accountable and to help encourage more than just dropping technology off. It encourages technology being used to enhance learning as opposed to using it just because. I also believe that through this plan, greater equality can take place. Online, it doesn’t matter if you wear the newest clothes or even have the newest computer. Online, people have the opportunity to create their own persona, and can show there intelligence and ask questions without feeling like they are showing off or are “stupid”. The gap in wealth decreases when every student is given a computer and access. Suddenly, it doesn’t matter how many books your parents have bought you – it’s all online! It doesn’t matter if you don’t know a word or idea – you can quickly look it up! It is through technology that the gap closes. I’m glad the government is spending time using technology initiatives to help solve social issues.

Christina Ordonez