National education technology plan development

National education technology plan development – 2010

The U.S. Department of Education chose SRI to lead development of an action plan to transform American education by leveraging technology’s ability to support learning from any location and throughout a person’s lifespan.

Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology reflects an increased understanding of how to support learning as well as the advent of broadband networks and Web 2.0 technologies. Rather than treating the use of technology in schools as an end in its own right, the plan explains key ideas on how to support learning, and describes technology’s role in enabling implementation of these ideas.

Key elements of the plan are five goals for implementing a 21st century vision of learning supported by technology; recommended actions for states, districts, the federal government and other stakeholders; and an agenda for research to address grand challenges in education.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released the plan in November 2010. In its executive summary, he noted, “The NETP is a five-year action plan that responds to an urgent national priority and a growing understanding of what the United States needs to do to remain competitive in a global economy.”


To date since its release, 16 states have used the National Education Technology Plan in developing their own state technology plans, as a resource for state educators, or in developing state activities in support of learning technology. The Plan was cited in Hawaii’s Senate Bill 2482 to create a trust fund to support teaching science and technology in the state’s public schools.

The plan sets goals to use technology to improve student learning, accelerate and scale up adoption of effective practices, and use analytics to customize learning to each student and for continuous improvement.

It calls for every learner and teacher to have a computing device connected to always-on Wi-Fi. It describes how teachers can leverage this infrastructure to better connect their students to each other, to community resources for learning, and to distant experts and data sources. Examples from forward-looking schools and classrooms illustrate students’ use of Web 2.0 technologies to communicate, collaborate, and create their own content.

Plan development

To develop the plan, SRI convened a working group of nationally recognized scholars and educational technology policymakers and practitioners in 2009. SRI education researchers then synthesized and supplemented the working group’s information with input from the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology and SRI’s own research to create a far-reaching, pragmatic plan. SRI staff gave many presentations on the evolving plan and sought input from stakeholders and the public. Learn more

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