THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES

Technology in the 21st century is a foundational tool for the current generation of school-aged children. The innovative technologies, such as smart phones, iPads, and now Leap Pads for younger children, have launched our children into a digital age where they no longer function on a daily basis without some form of communication device. As children, parents, communities, and businesses have shifted to this reliance on technology, schools and districts must do the same in order to prepare students successfully in this digital age. For this reason, the NASBE Board of Directors accepted the charge that education policymakers must examine the readiness of the nation’s public schools to fully address the impact of technology on teaching and learning made even more acute with the implementation of common core standards. The Board has taken this mission further by adding the identification of the relationship between technology and the social and emotional health of students to this study.

As digital influences expand and their effects on students’ lives increases, the educational experience of students changes. Today’s climate of instant communication and access to information provide opportunities and challenges to teachers and administrators. Open source instructional materials, personalized learning plans, long distance learning, and the use of personal computing devices create new challenges for policymakers to ensure safe environments and accurate data. This presents new challenges to state boards of education and the policy decisions made on schools in a digital world impact more than simply what happens in schools. To address these challenges, this study will examine the use of technology and its impact on teaching and learning particularly under the common core state standards and the upcoming next-generation assessments, as well as the role of policy on the social and emotional health of students in this digital age.

The work of the group will focus on the following areas:

  • Using technology to personalize teaching and learning for all students
  • Preparing students for computer-based assessments
  • Increasing teacher capacity
  • Ensuring media literacy and digital citizenship

The core composition of a NASBE study group includes members of State Boards of Education from 18 to 20 states. The study group will convene three in-person meetings in January, March, and June and approximately three virtual meetings will be scheduled. At each meeting, content and policy experts present to the study group members allowing them to delve deeply into the issues and determine areas for continuous study and examination. Each convening builds on the previous meetings and electronic communications, webinars and mailings provide study group members with on-going information resources and learning opportunities through the study period. Ex officio individuals representing specific perspectives and experiences are also invited to participate.

A report on the group’s findings with recommendations for state policy will be released in October 2012 at the NASBE Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.

Below are materials, podcasts and resources relating to the 2012 Technology Study Group. Here is a short presentation: Prezi Presentation

Audio from the 12.5.2012 Born In Another Time Congressional Briefing:

2013 Updates:

N.C. Aims to Ramp Up Tech. Training of Teachers, Adminstrators: LINK