The United States Department of Education now includes an Office of Educational Technology, broadly influencing the way teachers and schools integrate technology into their instruction. I’ve had the chance to hear members of the Office of EdTech speak about their work at a few conferences this year. Here’s what you need to know.
The Office of Education Technology develops national policy around the adoption of technology in educational settings. Its website offers resources for educators, students, families and even educational software developers. They work to make sure students can access the Internet and teachers can make the most of educational technology tools.
The 2016 National Educational Technology Plan is one of the most notable accomplishments of the Office of Educational Technology. This resource — a very readable policy paper peppered with research, real classroom examples and favorite technology tools — can be downloaded from their website as a PDF file. It includes definitions for common industry terms and shareable resources to support implementation of technology in the classroom.
Open educational resources are an important area to understand. More and more teachers are creating classroom resources and sharing them with teachers across the country. Thanks to highly connected educators on social media there is an increased awareness of the power of sharing resources and knowing where to look for them. The Office of Educational Technology is a champion of this movement, and you’ll find content being shared on social media with the hashtag #GoOpen. The idea behind this movement is that resources for teaching and learning should be available for free — for anyone to use. This means that a teacher in one part of the country can access the same educational resources as a teacher elsewhere without having to worry about logistical or financial restrictions.
The Office of Educational Technoloy’s website features publications, social media campaigns and a blog full of shareable resources that you may want to tweet or email to colleagues or use as reading material for a PLC.
Monica Burns is an Author, Speaker, Curriculum & EdTech Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.
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