The U.S. Department of Education released its New Education Technology Plan May 5th, 2010, noting its strong intentions to implement more technological advances in k-12 classrooms, according to an article in District Administration.
The suggested plan includes heavy use of mobile devices, increasing digital usage and content, and social networking for more communication. It is still unsure exactly how schools will use these measures to foster education. The uses will vary from school-to-school.
Cell phones could be used to download homework and class notes. Public schools are likely to upgrade their equipment using better technology. Digital chalkboards could replace traditional chalkboards, allowing students and teachers to access the Internet straight from the classroom. Also, teachers will be able to save class notes on their computers and bring them up on the digital chalkboard. Students and teachers can easily erase and write on these boards. These digital chalkboards will make education more organized and appealing to students.
Also, teachers and administrators might plan to bring the classroom to where the students are by opening up discussion boards on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and other social media outlets. This could boost engagement of students, as they are “digital natives” still being taught by largely non-digital methods.
Many administrators at the K-12 levels believe that there is not enough government funding to implement many of these measures. District Administration reported that president Barack Obama is planning to cut the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program, which has been providing funding for classroom technology since 1994.
Obama is planning to combine this program with the Effective Teaching and Learning for a Complete Education program. This program includes funding for technology; however, that is not its main purpose.
Some administrators and other education experts believe that this could increase the funding for technological programs in schools. However, others believe that many public schools won’t get the appropriate funding necessary for the New Education Technology plan that was proposed May 5th, 2010.
Administrators and politicians will remain in debates over funding for education technology. However, there are likely to be enhancements in classroom technology that will help students learn in grades K-12 and be more interesting to students.