Team 4 - Pro
Team 5 - Con

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

Pro Statements

Octavio Rodriguez (Team 4 - Pro Statement)
Article presented by
Chris Dawson is a freelance writer and consultant with years of experience in educational technology and web-based systems.
In 2011, he became the Vice President of Marketing for WizIQ, Inc., a virtual classroom and learning network SaaS provider.
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/education/national-educational-technology-plan-part-1/3716

Education is the key to America’s economic growth and prosperity and to our ability to compete in the global economy. This is one of the most important statements and a true one because as we can see from this class technology can help bridge the gap that we have and will continue to have because of how fast it evolves. This has turned into the best path to a good jobs and higher earning power for Americans now and years to come. This is necessary for our democracy to work and to continue to grow and help our nation prosper. It fosters the cross-border, cross-cultural collaboration required to solve the most challenging problems of our time. We cannot ignore the simple fact that technology is making our, what used to be big world into a smaller and accessible one. Under the Obama administration, education has become an urgent priority driven by two clear goals. As was stated in NETP By 2020 education as a whole and us must meet the following goals:
• We will raise the proportion of college graduates from where it now stands [39%] so that60% of our population holds a 2-year or 4-year degree.
• We will close the achievement gap so that all students – regardless of race, income, or neighborhood – graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers.
These are aggressive goals and achieving them is a sizable challenge and as we know times are hard and there is not that much money dedicated to education as is the case in other countries. Add to the challenge the projections of most states and the federal government of reduced revenues for the foreseeable future, and it is clear we need cost-effective and cost-saving strategies that improve learning outcomes and graduation rates for millions of Americans. We are asked to do more with less and technology is not cheap as we know from the new technology that everyone wants. We know that we need to change and meeting these goals is not necessary but is required if we are to continue leading the way. But specifically, we must embrace innovation, prompt implementation, regular evaluation, and continuous improvement if we are to keep up with our number one client. The programs and projects that work must be brought to scale so every school has the opportunity to take advantage of that success. Our regulations, policies, actions, and investments must be strategic and coherent. If we do this then we will meet and exceed these and other goals preparing our current and future generations for the ever changing world.

Here is the executive summary of the NETP plan if you don't have time to read the entire thing.
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/os/technology/netp-executive-summary.pdf

Rebuttal to Octavio

While I agree with some of the points that you mention in your argument, I’m not sure that it convinces me that a National Educational Technology Plan is the way to go. While the plan has good components and a sizable framework, it still takes the shape of an unfunded, unspecific mandate.

One of the more interesting parts of the executive summary you mention states “To achieve our goal of transforming American education, we must rethink basic assumptions and redesign our education system. We must apply technology to implement personalized learning and ensure that students are making appropriate progress through our K-16 system so they graduate. These and other initiatives require investment, but tight economic times and basic fiscal responsibility demand that we get more out of each dollar we spend.” (
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/os/technology/netp-executive-summary.pdf)

This statement speaks to the “transformation” of the entire educational system. Is this realistic? I think that we can transform parts of the educational system, specifically components of the curriculum which include technology, but I think that it is either naïve or arrogant to call for a “transformation” of the entire system.

Josh (Con team)


Rebuttal to Josh from Octavio

While I agree with some of the points that you mention in your argument, I’m not sure that it convinces me that a National Educational Technology Plan is the way to go. While the plan has good components and a sizable framework, it still takes the shape of an unfunded, unspecific mandate.

One of the more interesting parts of the executive summary you mention states “To achieve our goal of transforming American education, we must rethink basic assumptions and redesign our education system. We must apply technology to implement personalized learning and ensure that students are making appropriate progress through our K-16 system so they graduate. These and other initiatives require investment, but tight economic times and basic fiscal responsibility demand that we get more out of each dollar we spend.” (
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/os/technology/netp-executive-summary.pdf)

What better way to personalize learning than individual programs that are aimed at helping the needs of each student. As I said before the number of apps that are being created each and every day is growing faster than we can keep up with. They have been created by people that know something about the purpose of the app. I also look at the article that was created two years ago showing the increase in digital media and access. Some school districts will be further ahead than others the smart ones will have people that know about technology but even more important can see how this technology will change over time. They can not spend their entire budget to get that years hot program or equipment. They need to invest in their network and make sure that it can grow with their needs then add each year to that network. Start with one computer then two then four and so on. Continue to invest in training and help teachers grow by sending them to conferences and then have them present on what they learn. If you do that then no matter where you are the technology will get there. We are lucky that we are in a school district that gives us the best of the tech world now we just have to train the teachers to make use of it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1304266/We-spend-7-hours-day-using-technology-computers-TV-lives.html


This statement speaks to the “transformation” of the entire educational system. Is this realistic? I think that we can transform parts of the educational system, specifically components of the curriculum which include technology, but I think that it is either naïve or arrogant to call for a “transformation” of the entire system.

Josh (Con team)

Its not arrogant if you know that and accept that what you are typing on and reading from may seem new but it out of date. There is always something better and faster. Your Iphone will get better and faster and smaller your tablet will get smaller and the batter will last longer. What you use in your job will change and make it faster for you to see everything about the student you are talking with when you see them. The entire system will change but the rate of change will depend on the money and technology that each district, school, town and state has for education. There are school districts that already are ahead of ours in many ways. Students in some are all given a laptop at the start of their freshmen year and books are stored and placed on these items. Cities are starting to provide free wifi and the best and greattest place to get everything still for free has seen and increase in people using their services. Dont forget that we have a library that allows anyone and everyone to go check their email and facebook. Transforming the entire system will take some time but only if the person leading that change understands and can see what the future in tech will look like. I know that there are also other issues like the district and them having you follow certain rules about obtaining new techonology. I know that I would be able to take a budget and if allowed would be able to get as many laptops as you would need for each student. I have the ability to repair any and all electrical equipment and know what is needed to get those broken items up and running with the little money that I would have. But I know that the district would never allow that because not many can or would do it. I would do it to help the students and would do it for free because I would be making a difference. I received a book with a lot of really cool quotes I really like this one. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela"

Octavio (Pro Team)



Juan Medina (Team 4 - Pro Statement)
http://bit.ly/ch0Q36

With the 2010 National Education Technology Plan, the federal government has given education the profound attention and merit needed to finally produce transformative results. The No Child Left-Behind Act of 2001 merely glazed our education system with such a loose weave of reform that the results of NCLB became the gross standardization of content and instruction. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic became our answer to achieving the minimal amount of growth necessary to fend-off the big bad government’s scrutiny.
Though rough around the edges, the NCLB act of 2001 was a well-intended attempt at reforming our antiquated system of education. Today, we finally have the opportunity to sculpt educational services that properly reflect our students’ needs and those of the world we assume they will one day steward.
The 2010 National Education Technology Plan (NETP) synthesizes two clear goals. The first goal is to raise the proportion of college graduates by 21%. By 2020, 60 % of our population will hold a 2-year or 4-year college degree. The second goal states that all high school graduates will be ready to succeed a higher education program or the workforce, regardless of race, income, or neighborhood. In essence, the achievement gap caused by polarizing factors such as demographics and income status will be closed by both financial and professional preparation.
Unlike NCLB, the NETP provides the criteria necessary to achieve results by citing specific examples, methods and resources that serve as guidelines to begin the uncomfortable task of rocking the boat.
Tina Rooks states that, “The NETP is grounded in the belief that technology can both inspire disruption and facilitate methods proven to be effective.” She further delineates the keys to successful transformation as technologies that:
• aid in measuring student learning outcomes
• enable subsequent use of this data to transform education with laser precision
• can be leveraged for research
• personalize the learning environment
• function systemically
We stand at the edge of a precipice that frightens the brave and paralyzes the weak. The National Education Technology Plan would have us replace our current model of adequacy for models that seek to achieve transformational results by finally addressing the student as an individual.



Azra Haq--(Team 4 Pro Statement)

Under the Obama administration, education has become an urgent priority driven by two clear goals:

  • We will raise the proportion of college graduates from where it now stands (around 41 percent) so that 60 percent of our population holds a two-year or four-year degree by 2020.

  • We will close the achievement gap so that all students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers.

It is crucial for us to educate our children and help them prosper as best we can. The National Education Technology Plan has brought focus to education that will allow all school systems to improve student learning by implementing enhanced practices whose purpose is constant progression.

This plan allows for engaged and adapted learning experiences for children of all ages. The plan will use state of the art technology and “Universal Design for Learning (UDL)” ideas to help all students achieve and succeed no matter what their needs are. In order to ensure the effectiveness of these safeguards, educators will obviously need to be well informed through professional learning workshops to support this type of learning. If the NETP has a financial plan to support the expenses of this “plan”, then I think it’s something worth trying especially given the rate technology is changing and affecting our society. Today, we are living, working, and communicating in different ways. With technology as the root of our daily lives we need to ensure that we engage students in more powerful learning experiences that include technology. With technology also at the root of our lives at work, we enhance student learning in all areas and at all levels.

In today’s world, if it involves an approach that includes technology, then why not try it? The NETP suggests that “technology-based learning and assessment systems will be pivotal in improving student learning and generating data that can be used to continuously improve the education system at all levels”. We already strive to do this in each of our respective schools within each of our particular disciplines? We evaluate what and how we do in order to achieve improved results in both teaching and learning!


http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010

Kerri Largo


http://jessknott.com/?p=207
According to the 2010 plan, “state and local public education institutions must ensure equitable access to learning experiences for all students and especially students in underserved populations – low income and minority students, students with disabilities, English language learners, preschool-aged children, and others.”
Obviously, as a business and technology teacher, I am in full support of anything that will increase students’ knowledge of technology. And as a teacher, I personally am open to some of the grass roots ideas with this plan. We cannot continue to think that traditional approaches to education will sustain in these changing times.

Technology education is more important than ever. I wish our District, like others locally, would require Technology Applications for all students. We cover advanced skills in MS Office, Internet Safety, and other collaborative tools to make students successful in school and beyond (look how we use these tools in our jobs—EVERY job needs these skills!). In the meantime, trying to recruit for these classes is a struggle as we continuously hear that kids already “know” technology. Yet, this is not what we see in the classroom.

This semester, three of my four classes have become 100% paperless (my fourth is not in a lab—unfortunately…). I have spent a considerable amount of time teaching the technology, more than I thought I would. They “know” texting, basic Google, and perhaps how to bold or italicize in Word, but to fully utilize the software to its full potential, students have a long way to go! It amazes me the lack of knowledge students have on simple tasks like selecting multiple files, saving to various file types, or graphic editing to complete a quality class project. Yet, they “know” technology because they’ve used it. There is a difference between use and knowledge.

According to http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/03/05/national-ed-tech-plan-advocates-radical-reforms-in-schools.aspx, “The model also depends on every student and educator having Internet access devices and broadband Internet connections and every student and educator being comfortable using them.”

I do agree, but almost feel like that is a given and should go without saying. If we, as educators, want to prepare students for the business world (all careers involve a business!), they must be so comfortable with technology that they can adapt to new innovations. Technology has had such dramatic changes even within the last five years that the ability to adapt is equal to that of technology comfort. By infusing these ideas and strategies and becoming role models (as even mentioned in this class), we demonstrate a priority and level of importance for technology education and technology in education!



Rebuttal #2 to Kerri,

You are a great teacher. I can say this with confidence because I work with you and know the students who are in your classes. I agree with your statement “Technology education is more important than ever. I wish our District, like others locally, would require Technology Applications for all students.” I wish, however, that the district, state, insert any governing body here, would provide (not necessarily require) training and professional development in the use and classroom application of emerging technology applications. I feel like this was a downfall of the NETP.

One of my favorite blogs (http://edtechsteve.blogspot.com/2011/01/national-education-technology-plan.html) contains an analysis of all parts of the plan. It was way easier to read then the actual plan itself and has a very interesting analysis. The author, Steve Johnson, says this “I really don't like that there isn't a stronger push in this plan for more curricular support for teachers in their endeavors to utilize technology more effectively with students. I think this is a very large disconnect- teachers simply need help to not only get started using technology with their kids but also to maintain it. I've watched it many times- if a teacher does not have support for use, the technology does not get used. There needs to be a certified person in every school that specializes in helping teachers and students use the technology at their disposal effectively.”

Josh Schumacher


Rebuttal to Pro Team

Azra
Most people would agree that the NETP plan is on the right track trying to help education move forward by preparing our students with the essentials required to be competitive in the world market. But like many other government mandates, the plan is put in place first without the means to fund it.
Azra you wrote, “If the NETP has a financial plan to support the expenses of this “plan”, then I think it’s something worth trying especially given the rate technology is changing and affecting our society.” Unfortunately I think you are even realizing that this plan may not have the proper finances to require schools to offer all that they are requiring. Technology is expensive, and for many school the mandate of technology without funding will be overwhelming for them. A blogger Al Meyers would agree with this stance in his blog.
You also said that “the plan allows for engaged and adapted learning experiences for children of all ages.” Unfortunately the plan does not do enough to address the learning for students with special needs. You are correct that it needs to allow for engaged learning for all students with the adaptations that they require, but the National Federation of the Blind would disagree.

Meyers, A. (2012, Feb. 11). An Outsider’s Critique of the National Education Technology Plan. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://tagthink.com/whitepapers/whitepapers/an-outsider-s-critique-of-the-national-education-technology-plan.html

National Federation of the Blind. (2010, July). Comments on the Draft National Educational Technology Plan 2010. Braille Monitor. Retrieved from
http://www.nfb.org/images/nfb/Publications/bm/bm10/bm1007/bm100705.htm

Susan Hess Con team


Con Rebuttal Statements
Heath McFaul

Dutch inventor Piet Hein said it best, “when technology is master, disaster comes faster.”

Octavio: While education may be the key to America’s economic growth, it’s going to come on the back of hard working teachers, not technological tools. Regardless of the instrument and the availability of them, individual efforts alone will fall short of Obama’s restorative vision. To imply that advancing technology is a necessary component of our democratic growth and prosperity seems a far stretch.

Fletcher, Geoffrey. "Education Act Sets Stage for Technology Reform.." THE Journal 29 (2002): 56. 28 Mar. 2004 Found http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=6262635&db=aph

Missing from your commentary is the importance of an instructional leader that combines the much needed critical thinking elements of education, along with technology. My personal fear is that our nation’s focus upon technology will actually create a dependency model that actually takes individual problem solving and critical thinking the wrong direction. For example, at what point do we recognize that technology is replacing our ability to process information independently. The NETP platform has merit, but could easily become a crutch with which we should never lean too heavily upon. There’s nothing wrong with embracing technology and implementing useful tools into the classroom, but the NETP seems to be doing this without first understanding the long-term ramifications. Teachers must be allowed the creative freedom to determine their own technological use. NETP creates a one-size-must-fit-all approach.




Rebuttal to Pro Team

Azra,
The NETP was created with good intentions. The plan will help increase the need for a more rigorous curriculum that help students compete in our competitive society. However, the plan fails to address the reconstruction of infrastructures and the costs associated with implementing the plan. President Obama’s goals are also misleading and subject criticism. Just recently he has allowed several states such as Florida to be exempted out of No Child Left Behind and he also has increased funding for private school districts and decreased funding for public school districts. President Obama’s support for education and the NETP have many gaps and false perceptions.

The NETP doesn’t address the need for students with multiple learning styles and those with special needs. For some reason politicians and educators have misconception that technology is the best for all learners and that switching to technology enhanced curriculum they are differentiating instruction. To some extent they are differentiating their curriculum, but to force a plan that purely replaces traditional methods may have the reverse effect, one that is costly. In addition to learning styles you mentioned that, “we are living, working, and communicating in different ways”. This is true however; it doesn’t make it the best way. Students and adults struggle with communicating via texting, social media, and other technological advanced systems. The lack of face-time and the hands-on approach to communicating/learning will have its issues. Students for the most part are losing their ability to interact socially with each other and definitely lack the ability to correctly/effectively use technology to benefit their education. I would carefully reconsider the use of purely on-online coursework as a means to replace the traditional classroom especially at a younger age.

I think you will find the attached article interesting as it relates to addiction and some potentially dangerous side-effects when it comes to technology.
http://www.sierrasource.com/cep612/internet.html

Mike Plaza (Con Team Rebuttal)


Rebuttal #2 to Kerri Largo by Susan Hess
You bring up a very good point about teachers being “comfortable with technology that they can adapt to new innovations.” This is a lofty goal especially when I look at our own district and realize we can’t even get experienced teachers to use the electronic gradebook that has been around for about 6 years. Some of this training might actually begin at the pre-service level as Willona Sloan points out in an ASCD article.
Sloan also pointed out that in a survey done by the National School Boards Association (NSBS) almost half of the schools stated that “providing professional development to help teachers effectively use technology posed the biggest challenge to tech integration in their schools.” The survey also found that funding such technology programs would be a large concern.
No one really doubts the benefits of technology for students in the classroom and beyond the classroom. But funding the program outlined by the NETP will be difficult given the economic state that most schools and school districts are in. Technology is not cheap, and if we want our students to be working with state of the art devices instead of outdated electronics, then the money has to be there in order to purchase these devices. Some schools just cannot afford the materials to meet the plan.

http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/policy-priorities/vol17/num03/Can-Your-School-Meet-the-Goals-of-the-National-Education-Technology-Plan%C2%A2.aspx





Con Statements


Heath McFaul (Team 5 – Con Statement)

On the surface, the National Education Technology Plan (NETP) looks to be a well-constructed program that seeks to transform our educational system. Although it’s difficult to argue the need for continued advancements in education technology, I think we must consider the total implications of such a broad sweep across our academic landscape. According to the NETP plan “state and local public education institutions must ensure equitable access to learning experiences for all students and especially students in underserved populations – low income, minority students and students with disabilities, English language learners, preschool-aged children, and others” (US Department of Education, 2010).

The first problem I have with this initiative is that it is being development by the federal government. Time after time we’ve seen misguided attempts by government to reform education fail. Race to the Top is already under scrutiny by providing competitive based funding versus needs based funding to schools. So what makes us think that the NETP can withstand the financial responsibility for not only the initial investment, but the sustained funding of future years? It also seems a far reaching assumption to think that technology is the answer to bridge the learning gap that exists between differing socioeconomic cultures. Accessibility to technology is still severely limited beyond any advancement an individual school can make. If schools are then required to do any of the funding on their own, how will NETP handle those institutions not obtaining the funds to proceed? Libraries and other public facilities in socio-economic depressed areas are also severely limited in their ability to provide not only access, but the much needed training, knowledge, and support many users will require. Which leads to another point, is the NETP also planning to fund the professional development workshops and training sessions that will surely be needed?

As with any governmental initiative in education, there will certainly need to be some level of assessment. How exactly will this be accomplished when a large degree of variance exists between what some schools are simply able to attain, what others cannot? What the federal government should consider at this point is sharing the framework with individual states, provide their support and then step aside, allowing states and individual districts an opportunity to analyze their needs and spread funding in a fair and equitable manner.

This plan also seems to take away from the fundamental understanding that the teacher is the key to success in the classroom, and cannot be replaced by a piece of equipment.

Knott, J. (2011). Analysis: National Education and Technology Plan 2000 and 2010. Professional and Educational Portfolio. Retrieved on 2/5/12 from: http://jessknott.com/?p=207


Susan Hess (Team 5—Con statement)

It is reasonable to say that the NETP appears to have all the intentions of a good plan to help all students have access to the appropriate technology Most would agree that “we have seen unprecedented advances in computing and communications that have led to powerful technology resources and tools for learning” (U.S. Department of Education). However, what the plan does not do is consider all students, and does not address enough those with particular disabilities. Although technology is clearly part of our future, it needs to be part of everyone’s future.

“Overall, what is missing from the NETP is an appreciation of the opportunity and challenge that technology presents for teachers and students with disabilities. We have the opportunity for the first time to change the paradigm--to reduce drastically the necessity for separate and unequal special education resources by allowing people with print disabilities to have the same access to education as their nondisabled peers. If appropriate standards are properly implemented, we have the opportunity to ensure that access to educational materials is a nonissue for a blind student or one with cerebral palsy who cannot hold her head and hands steady enough to read a book. At present these students are consigned to separate and not equal access, and the mainstream resources (many of which will be developed by mainstream, highly capitalized technology companies) will always outstrip any separate special resources” (National Federation of the Blind).

If the plan is to work for all students and teachers, as it claims, it must include students with disabilities, as the National Federation of the Blind points out. They believe that a section must address blind students separately in order for the plan to work.

http://www.nfb.org/images/nfb/Publications/bm/bm10/bm1007/bm100705.htm

In addition,the NETP touts the importance of online learning communities. But, what the plan fails to consider is the fact that this online learning does not help but hinders their social skill building. Just as many teachers and parents are concerned that texting does not allow students to learn to properly interact with each other, online communities does not help students work together collaboratively in a face-to-face setting. These are important skills that parents and teachers want their students to learn. For students who already are lacking in social skills, they will not learn them with a plan like this that puts online learning communities in place.
http://www.ehow.com/list_6568541_online-courses-advantages-disadvantages.html


Rebuttal to Susan Hess from Octavio Rodríguez (Team 4)


Well there are so many apps that are coming out for all types of students with disabilities. Saying that they are being left behind is ont really accurate becuase there are numerous special ed educators that have found wonderful apps that allow students that would not communicate to communicate. Today's students will supass each and everyone because they are being exposed to new online sites and the number of applications are growing each and every day. Google has the technology and because they are the main backers of the android operating system the apps will keep imporving and more and more educators will be able to build their own to help their own students.

These are just a few of the sites that you can go to and get some amazing apps for special needs students and teachers:
http://blog.friendshipcircle.org/2011/02/02/the-special-needs-ipad-app-series/?gclid=CJzTxc3lma4CFSwDQAodjGJrKg
http://www.snapps4kids.com/
http://a4cwsn.com/
http://momswithapps.com/apps-for-special-needs/

Social skills would be enhanced because those that would not participate in class would be able to interact more with the entire class. I have been working with a new technology webdesign program that allows me to give special user names to all my students the students only see the given user names by the program. I post questions and using my site students are able to log into their own class specific content work on blogs they can only see and all their response is shorted by student for me. I dont have to go back and match up the user name to the students name because the program does it for me. Students are able to have simple discussions in the target language can complete online web quests that now can be divided and completed by each students using google docs. The only negative is that you have to learn how to use the program and understand how to set it up.

Articles on benefits of Technology and social networks working with others:
http://www.life123.com/parenting/tweens-teens/social-networking/advantages-of-social-networking.shtml
http://www.springerlink.com/content/d553240441v47335/

Those students that are blind also have technology at their side. One program that I found that is being developed and used is the MATHVIS shor for mathematics for Visually Impaired Students (MATHVIS) is a researched and developed software application that is capable of uplifting the educational background of visually impaired students.

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=5550102
http://adaptivetech.tcnj.edu/resheet/blind.htm

Rebuttal #2 to Sue Hess from Juan Medina (Team 4)
Sue,
Yes, the NETP does boast the contemporary effectiveness of online learning communities. On all accounts, we as a society are not as socially conscious, bound, or even aware of the importance of this type of communication. Texting and typing has however replaced the verbal conversation and their communication is what we need to adapt to, not the reverse. Agreed, online communities doe not help students work together collaboratively in a face-to-face setting, but the global market is such that collaboration is seldom a physical, face-to-face experience. Where parents might fear a-disconnect with their children at the kitchen table, it is not our, nor the NETP’s responsibility to the truly address this. As a parent, I do admit to struggling with where things exist regarding what schooling provides versus what we should as parents provide. I fear too much conditioning on the part of the educational organization. I want the social graces bound by my and my wife’s family’s histories to be those that model who our children are in person. On paper, I wish for my children to have every benefit that 21st century learning has to offer. With this, I suppose I take on a greater responsibility for sculpting who my children are and leave the NETP to be the safety net for those in socio and emotional need. Juan
http://bit.ly/zdvu0q

Rebuttal #2 to Sue Hess from Azra Haq (Team 4)

Technology in the classrooms has always helped students learn. I don’t think there is an answer to the best ways to allocate funding for this project, especially when it comes to percentages based on student needs (special education, gifted, ELL, students with disablities). The government should definitely support our school systems financially with this in order to meet the needs of our student population. We have a diverse group of learners which we report to on a daily basis and we need to do what is in the best interest of our kids. I don’t believe if we implement NETP that we still can’t still do the same things we do with our students now. I feel with NETP it will be a different approach to make progress. Some teachers are too comfortable in their ways and have trouble adapting to new learning styles or new ways to re-structure their curriculums and refuse to try to integrate new ideas. NETP is a great start.



http://www.edutopia.org/blog/national-educational-technology-plan-netp-audrey-watters



Mike Plaza Team Rebuttal 5 (Con Statement)
Re: Octavio
I agree that education is the key to success and a string economy; However, I was unsure as to where you were going by attaching President Obama’s goals to the NETP. I would be hesitant to say that NETP would be the solution to meeting Obama’s growth goals. You mentioned that funding is an issue and I would agree. The NETP doesn't provide opportunity for additional funding to provide the resources needed to meet the goals of NETP. I agree that there needs to be a change in education for all grades K-16, but these changes must be supported and developed by educators. In addition the changes must have full finical support and accountability. The Okahomo school districts have added an interesting compenent to their teacher evaluation proceedures. In summary they hold teachers accountable and require that they adapt their curriculum so that it uses the available resoruces. This is a missing component I feel District 211 has and many districts have across the nation. I have strong feelings that support the NETP position and goals, however if there isn’t accountability piece and funding it won’t work.
http://www.obecinfo.com/downloads/OKEdAccountabilityReportFinal.pdf

Mike Plaza Team 5 (Con Statement)

Article: http://www.melanieevemiller.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/technologyineducation.pdf

The National Education Technology Plan’s (NETP) goal for advancing the classroom to the next level in theory makes sense. The federal government should be actively involved in advancing technologies into the classroom by providing educators the necessary resources and training to effectively transition our “traditional” classrooms to “modern” classrooms enhanced with digital texts, one-to-one computers, and the many other technologies available to the educator community.

Stakeholders from both the education system and the government developed five goals which they felt are necessary for students and teachers to accomplish as they proceed with the NETP. The developers of the NETP had clear intentions to make technologies available to all students both in and out of the classroom. However, there isn’t a clear plan as to how districts are to fund the NETP. In addition, the goals lack clear direction for each of their objectives. There isn’t a clear explanation as to how the goals and objectives will have an effect on student growth and student achievement.

Melanie Eve Miller, author of The Pros and Cons of technology in the Classroom, argues that there are pros and cons to having technology in the classroom. Miller asks interesting questions we can argue. She asks, “Are some ages, disciplines, and learning styles better suited to different, non-technological methods? Can you reach the same goals at a less cost?” Both these questions bring up valid points and should be considered when educators are planning to incorporate the NETP into practice. Differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all learning styles is a practice that has become more prevalent in districts across the nation. The number of students with IEP’s and 504 plan make-up about 17% of our school population in District 211. In these legal documents a teacher must be able to adapt curriculum in a variety of different ways at the same time making sure accommodations are in place. District 211 is in the process of piloting a one-to-one computer program for the first time. Miller’s discussion to learning styles is one that made me think twice. I agree with Miller when she stated, “we must have clear goals and solutions for how to achieve particular outcomes in all disciplines, both with the presence or absence of technology”. Miller highlights several other cons in her study such as; we must prepare students over a 12-year period and there must be training how to teach students to think critically and teach students how to filter the overwhelming amount of information technology gives them access to.

Miller, M. (2008). The Pros and Cons of Technology in the Classroom, http://www.melanieevemiller.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/technologyineducation.pdf, Retrieved 2/9/12


Rebuttal to Mike Plaza from Azra Haq
The pros and cons come hand in hand when you are trying to implement a new idea into a school system. We need to help teach our children to think critically and logically and consume valuable knowledge no matter what this takes. Many of our children skills are derived from technology so why not make technology a useful yet effective tool in the classroom to help unlock the potential of these children? Miller’s article mentioned above supports the benefits of this implementation such as: “establishing learning communities, revitalize the teaching profession, and use technology as a level in aspects of computer networking, teacher professional developments, new forms of assessment…”. There is no way of ignoring technology and that is why we need to somehow implement it more strongly than we already do in our school systems. I agree that we do not have definite goals it will make it harder to carry out these goals and have effective results.

http://www.melanieevemiller.com/wp-


Josh Schumacher (Con statment)

“Learning no longer has to be one size fits all.”

This is one of the statements that jumps out at me while reading the National Educational Technology Plan. The title of the document, National Educational Technology Plan screams ‘standardized’ for all, which is why the aforementioned statement probably stands out so much. Perhaps I am too cynical about any ‘federal policy’ I hear about, but this plan seems to dwell on the more static side while technology is always changing.

Steve Johnson, in a blog that can be found at http://edtechsteve.blogspot.com/2010_11_01_archive.htmlsays “I like the wording of this plan so far and I like the direction it wants to move us. My only fear at this point is that while it may be spot on, it may be undercut or replaced by the current administrations' main policy push, Race to the Top.” I agree with Steve, the term National Education anything makes me think of disengaged politicians making decisions without ever having sat in a classroom. These decisions are often made without the thought of implementation at the actual school or classroom level. This plan seems to mirror other unfunded educational mandates.

Another blogger, Betty Ray, comments that the National Educational Technology Plan is “an ambitious plan, no surprise, contains an ambitious list of "To Do's" for the Department of Education: Help create, publish and maintain open standards for content and data; Initiate an interagency effort to create, publish, and maintain open standards for content, student learning, and financial data interoperability. Encourage online learning, online mentoring, and educational games.” For all these ambitious ideas, however, there is little in the way of actual implementation and monitoring. The rest of her comments can be found here http://www.edutopia.org/blog/national-educational-technology-plan-netp-audrey-watters

But in the last analysis, the ‘plan’ is just that, a plan. It is not the implementation, the mediation, or the final project. So, this begs the question – How will this plan be implemented? How will it be monitored? How will it be evaluated? At this point, it seems like more of a wish list than an actual plan. Perhaps wish list is too harsh. Let’s call it a set of recommendations.

I do agree that the educational system needs to stay current with emerging technologies and prepare students to effective use these technologies, however, I do not agree than a National Plan is the way to address the widening gap in use of emerging technologies.

Rebuttal

Response to Josh Schumacher from Juan Medina

New Media and the Promise of School Change
http://bit.ly/wkOTh4

Generating any global approach to change could be easily mistaken as a value meal approach to transformation. I believe the 2010 NETP is more than an ambitious to do list. For our craft, it is a chance to address literacy on a more individualized level. By simply focusing on the essence of the its two main goals,
  • to galvanize all of our high school graduates with the means to successfully navigate higher education or the workforce, regardless of their background, and
  • to increase our college graduates by 21%,
we clearly see that the terms by which success is defined have changed not for the global all, but for the individual. Yes, the plan seeks to generate a baseline of services and opportunities to all, but it does not implicitly define how each of our school districts will meet such baseline standards. THD211 is privileged with much, but stagnates right along with rural communities in grappling with literacy on a 21st Century Platform. Where this plan will address the chasm that exists between the haves and the have-nots, it also forces the uncomfortable self-evaluation of those who conform to and understand literacy separate from technology. Kathleen Tyner describes reading and writing as not even beginning to approach the fundamental problem of education: “What are reading and writing for?” The NETP plan calls for this difficult conversation regarding outcomes and standards and seeks to find a nexus between what we teach and how our students learn.


Rebuttal #2 (by Heath McFaul)


Kerri, Business Education throughout the district has provided students with a variety of learning opportunities in technology education. Sadly, the recruitment of students into these classes over the past several years has become a huge struggle despite the efforts to create new and exciting classes that are connected to technology. The simple question we are faced with is why? Why aren't students interested enough in taking Business Education courses that often highlight technology advancements and our uses of them? One possible answer is that young adults today are "self-taught" in the areas of technology. Their modern-day independence has led them to believe they can learn the information quicker and more easily then with classroom instruction. The other issue, is that we don't offer anything they don't already have. Keyboarding, Tech Applications, WebPage design, Desktop Publishing, etc. These classes are all antiquated in the eyes of a student. My point to all of this is that students are going to learn about technology on their own. They will learn how to integrate, manipulate, develop and utilize the differing advancements at the same rate as many adults who would be teaching them. As a solution, I think we should allow students to use whatever learning tool they want within a guideline that maintains educational respect and integrity. NETP asks teachers to complete a checklist of programmed objectives.

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Rebuttal to Heath (by Pro Team member, Kerri Largo)


Heath, you make some really good points that are hard to refute. I agree that government should stick to what government knows—government (well, what they’re supposed to anyway, I digress…). In any case, we look at initiatives, like NCLB and, as you mentioned, Race to the Top, that are educationally and visibly flawed. However, similar to those initiatives, what I do like is the spirit of NETP. The intended purpose is good and, while there are definite exceptions and elements that might be difficult to achieve (like funding and training that you mentioned), the push for technology may be the thing that some school districts need to ensure technology becomes a priority in sometimes bureaucratic organizations. I also feel that, as a Business Educator (and one who is still overly optimistic), perhaps this can help our “cause.” One of our primary curriculums, as you of all know, is technology education and when trying to update, develop, or enhance our curriculum, our efforts should be easier through this government push. And, like NCLB, while we know blanket legislation is not realistic for all, the drive and dedication to a united effort can lead to positive results. Developing a focus towards ensuring students have equitable opportunity to technology is definitely a step in the right direction.


Rebuttal Heath (By Pro Team Member, Octavio Rodriguez)
Heath McFaul

Dutch inventor Piet Hein said it best, “when technology is master, disaster comes faster.”

"During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think."

Bernard Mannes Baruch I think someone that has seen all this change hit it on the head. Each person still has the ability to think and their over all character will help them make the best decision.


Octavio: While education may be the key to America’s economic growth, it’s going to come on the back of hard working teachers, not technological tools. Regardless of the instrument and the availability of them, individual efforts alone will fall short of Obama’s restorative vision. To imply that advancing technology is a necessary component of our democratic growth and prosperity seems a far stretch.

I wanted to point one thing out to your statement you are using technology more now than 2 years ago. Two years ago and article was published that said that we use on the average 7 hours worth of technology. If you ignore that simple fact and ingnore that fact that 2 years ago we only had 2G then you are missing the point I was trying to say.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1304266/We-spend-7-hours-day-using-technology-computers-TV-lives.html

We as educator need to change the way we do things and need to get the student to buy into what we are doing in class. I used various technologies that just 2 years ago was just coming out. My students are able to get feedback on the spot and can practice what I am teaching them all via interactive web forms that are all stored on a computer somewhere on the net. When I went to school there were none of the music devices kids have today. Memory was super expensive and extremely large in size. Moore's Law helped that when the number of the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. Computer processing power also doubles and our ability to work smarted and faster also increases. I think that if you do not change with the times and the technology you will become frustrated and will end up not using some really amazing tools that will help you teach what you love better. I am not saying that its for everyone but its works for me and my students walk out of my class with more practice and more feedback to check for understanding.
This survey explains why techonology is here to stay and also shows what are some issues that need to be fixed to make it better.

http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/poll/technology/


Fletcher, Geoffrey. "Education Act Sets Stage for Technology Reform.." THE Journal 29 (2002): 56. 28 Mar. 2004 Found http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=6262635&db=aph

Missing from your commentary is the importance of an instructional leader that combines the much needed critical thinking elements of education, along with technology. My personal fear is that our nation’s focus upon technology will actually create a dependency model that actually takes individual problem solving and critical thinking the wrong direction. For example, at what point do we recognize that technology is replacing our ability to process information independently. The NETP platform has merit, but could easily become a crutch with which we should never lean too heavily upon. There’s nothing wrong with embracing technology and implementing useful tools into the classroom, but the NETP seems to be doing this without first understanding the long-term ramifications. Teachers must be allowed the creative freedom to determine their own technological use. NETP creates a one-size-must-fit-all approach.


I did not put anything really about instructional leaders because depending on the background of the person that is lace in the leadership position their view on technology will change and they will go with what they feel comfortable. No one wants to look like they don’t know what they are doing. No one will just do something if they don’t know it completely because of the fear that they will make a fool of themselves. The level of technology that each individual uses goes hand in hand with their ability to use and apply what they know and understand. Most people that do not embrace technology many times fear it because it’s something new that they have to master before they presented to their classes. The more you know about what is out there the more of a chance you have a using something to enrich one of your lessons. You are still the one that is in charge and the one that can think. The computer and software programs are only able to do what you tell them to do. Well that is untill AI takes over then look out.