NASBE Public Education Positions on Technology
  1. States should have an up-to-date strategic technology plan and policy that is reviewed on a predetermined timeline. State technology plans should provide a vision for how and where technology can change the way educators interact with students to facilitate learning. A robust education technology plan should include everything from instructional practices to teacher preparation and professional development and how technology can support every aspect of the education system. State and district plans should also address the interoperability of devices, software, and data.
  2. States should determine the current state of their districts’ and schools’ capacity to integrate technology in meaningful ways in the classroom including access, broadband, and human capital.
  3. States should ensure that every student has adequate access to a computing device and the Internet at school and home, with sufficient human capital in schools to support their effective use. Education technology infrastructure-building is a key aspect of ensuring equity and access in schools and communities moving forward.
  4. Access to data, balanced with concerns for privacy, is critical if data systems are going to be effective. States should consider providing segmented access to the data system for stakeholders in ways that still respect student privacy. (2013) (For more information, see Born in Another Time: Ensuring Educational Technology Meets the Needs of Students Today—and Tomorrow, the report of NASBE’s 2012 Study Group on the Role of Technology in Schools and Communities)

The traditional model of education—where educators impart knowledge to students through lecture and students recite memorized facts and solve fundamental math and science problems to illustrate comprehension of the information—is no longer appropriate given the context of today’s digitally based society. The Internet and efficient global communications have fundamentally changed how individuals access information. Today’s generation of students is growing up in an environment where information is available anywhere and anytime on any topic imaginable.

Given this transformation, NASBE believes state boards of education, in collaboration with the state education agency, state technology officer, and relevant stakeholders, should create a statement, definition, or visionary document defining what a next generation, technologically connected educator looks like within the state. In addition, states should promote the following concepts and policies for Next Generation teaching and learning:

  1. Educators must move beyond a focus on basic student learning goals (remembering, understanding, applying) to also embrace upper level skills, which include analyzing, evaluating, and creating and which are exemplified by the Common Core standards. Students should be expected to develop these skills in preparation for life and careers in today’s—and tomorrow’s—world.
  2. Educators should work collaboratively to foster reflective teaching practices as they work together to hone lesson plans, exchange insights about students’ strengths and weaknesses, draw from the expertise each brings to the classroom, provide feedback from fellow educators, and ensure that the needs of the students are met.
  3. State standards related to technology should go beyond students and teachers to cover administrators, online teaching and online courses, technology coaches, and special needs teachers.
  4. Educators need to be given the flexibility to use various forms of technology in the learning environment.
  5. State boards of education need to work with higher education institutions and accrediting entities to reexamine teacher preparation programs to ensure that future educators are entering the workforce with 21st century skills and have the ability to transfer those skills to today’s learning environment.
  6. State educator licensing boards need to redefine licensure and certification to include the demonstration of 21st century skills and broaden the role of professionals and paraprofessionals in the learning environment.

States and districts need to consistently invest time and resources in developing 21st century skills in their current workforce through intentional, practical professional development that promotes collaboration, reflective practices, and the integration of technology.


Recognizing the need for high-quality, innovative instructional materials to advance student achievement, NASBE recommends that states use the following principles for instructional materials:

  1. They allow for flexible use and control over content by users to meet a range of instructional approaches and modalities and the individualized needs of all students, including access by students with disabilities.
  2. They are closely aligned with state standards for what students should know and be able to do and with the state accountability system.
  3. They are accessible “on demand” at the time and place of learning, whether in or out of school.
  4. They are cost-effective and represent good value for the investment of public dollars.
  5. They address the needs for teacher training on using the materials.
  6. They are vetted by subject matter experts and educators to ensure academic quality for increased student achievement.
  7. They are updated frequently to reflect new developments in the content areas and be consistent with the development of new standards and assessments.
  8. They engage learners through multiple media (in print, online, audio, video), as well as through interaction and simulation.
  9. They are able to be supported by or grow from voluntary, collaborative inter-state efforts.

States should consider copyright, liability, and other legal issues in the adoption of instructional materials.


NASBE believes that evidence to date convincingly demonstrates that electronically delivered education, when used appropriately, can improve how students learn, can improve what students learn, and can deliver high-quality learning opportunities to all children. State education policymakers should seize the opportunity to take the lead to assure that e-learning is used well and strengthens the education system. To that end, policymakers should develop sound elearning policy that:

  1. Empowers families by offering them new choices among different ways of organizing and delivering learning services.
  2. Assures equity by
    1. Providing every student access to robust equipment and the Internet at school;
    2. Ensuring high-quality educators for all children;
    3. Advocating no-cost or low-cost after-school access to e-learning opportunities;
    4. Providing advanced coursework for students wishing to move beyond the standard curriculum; and
    5. Supplying technologies to assist students with special needs.
  3. Delivers quality e-instruction to learners by
    1. Promoting blended and virtual courses for high school and postsecondary credit and the universal availability of virtual schools; and
    2. Providing other quality e-learning resources.
  4. Protects children through policies that address appropriate student use of the Internet, privacy protection, and advertising in public schools. (See Any Time, Any Place, Any Path, Any Pace: Taking the Lead on e-Learning Policy, the report of NASBE’s 2001 study group on e-Learning: The Future of Education)

State boards of education should urge their districts and schools to address the critical areas of digital citizenship, digital literacy, and social networking through the creation of appropriate policies and programs. State boards should also ensure that the state education department is prepared to offer resources and guidance for these efforts.

See NASBE Public Education Positions relating to Education Data, or all NASBE Public Education Positions