eSchool News (2009) Stakeholders advise on national ed-tech plan eSchool News, November 17
U.S. Department of Education (ED) is preparing a new National Education Technology Plan and is accepting public feedback as it develops the new plan. A department spokesman did not know how long the public comment period would remain open, saying only that ED hopes to release the new plan in early 2010. More than 200 comments had been submitted to EdTechFuture.org, the new plan’s web site.
This article discusses recommendations from Susan Patrick, the person who oversaw creation of the last national ed-tech plan in 2004.Her submission states; “Online course enrollments are growing at 30 percent annually, but fall short of [student] demands. National surveys show that the [percentage] of [middle and high school] students [who] are interested in taking an online course is 40 percent. … [That’s] far more than the 2 million enrollments today. Outdated laws, policies, teacher preparation, professional development, and funding models limit student choices … made possible through online learning.”
Her recommendations include:
- A call for teacher-education programs at colleges and universities to train every pre-service teacher to teach online.
- Provide incentives for portability of credits among institutions and across state lines to support virtual learning.
- Provide incentives for true reciprocity of teacher professional licensure for online teaching.
- Encourage states to expand online-learning opportunities for students by making this a requirement for federal innovation and ed-tech funding.
- Invest in the development of open courses and curriculum with federal and state funding.
- Finish the job of ensuring ubiquitous internet access in schools and at home.
This eSchool article also includes discussion of submissions from other organizations, such as the Creative Commons and Sesame Street
Now wouldn’t it be nice if there was a similar initiative from the Canadian Federal Government for Canadian universities – oh, I forgot, education is a provincial responsibility, and universities are autonomous, eh?