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Home January 2010 A New National Ed Tech Plan

A New National Educational Technology Plan

As America’s brand-new director of education technology, career educator Karen Cator underscores the determination of President Obama and U.S. Education
Secretary Arne Duncan to develop “a transformative agenda” for the nation’s schools and colleges. She said the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will unveil the first
draft of the administration’s new National Education Technology Plan later this month. “Technology will be in play in every aspect of the education-
reform agenda,” she said.

The plan will address the imperatives of global competition, Cator said, but also will stress the importance of global interdependence. It will focus on ensuring effective teachers are present “in every zip code,” on seamlessly bridging the gap between the wide array of technology students
use outside of school and the more limited technology available to them in the classroom.
She said America’s ed-tech plan will promote careers in science, technology, engineering, and math—but now will add an emphasis on the arts, because, as Cator explained, creativity is essential to lifelong success in the age of technology.  According to those engaged in that work, the plan will involve these four focus areas:

1.  Learning: Enabling unprecedented access to high-quality learning experiences.

2. Assessment: Measuring what matters and providing the information that enables continuous improvement processes at all levels of the education system.

3. Teaching: New ways to support those who support learning. Technology can enable mentors, coaches, and peers to better support learning both in and out of school.

4. “Productivity: Redesigning systems and processes to free up education system resources to support learning. In an era of scarce resources, education systems need to take advantage of new technological and content solutions to reduce spending tied to inefficient systems and processes.

For the education reform agenda to take hold, she said, “we need to identify and disseminate
success stories.”Before joining ED, Cator was director of education leadership and advocacy for Apple Inc. She served as chair of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills from September 2006 to September 2007 and was in charge of technology planning and implementation in the Juneau, Alaska, school district prior to joining Apple in 1997.

A complete version of this article can be found here.

More information from the national edtech plan working group work may be found at


Core Capabilities

- Leading and Navigating Change
- Leveraging Tech. to Maximize Value
- Developing Organizational Capacity
- Strategic Advisory and Planning
- Technology Assessments
- Vendor Selection
- Content and Instruction Consulting
- Program and Project Management
- Integration and Interoperability
- Teacher Professional Development
- Support Program Development
- Shared Services
- Education Sustainability Planning





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