Interoperability, Accessibility Top ConnectED Framework Priorities

Interoperability, integration and equitable and universal access are the top priorities for districts implementing technology for teaching and learning, according to a new report from the National Advisory Council on ConnectED.

The report, "Priorities for a Connected Classroom: A Framework for Assessing Educational Technology Offers," is a tool designed to to help schools evaluate offers from corporate partners of ConnectED, a White House initiative to help provide teachers and students with access to education technology. Through ConnectED, private sector technology companies have "donated close to $2 billion in free hardware, software, content and wireless connectivity," according to EveryoneOn, the national nonprofit organization that convened the NACC.

In an effort to help corporate partners of ConnectED structure their offers and application processes to meet the needs of all K-12 students and districts, NACC identified four key priorities for districts selecting educational hardware, software and connectivity products.

The four key priorities are:

  1. Interoperability and integration;
  2. Equitable and universal access;
  3. Mobile optimization and home connectivity; and
  4. Professional development and Common Core alignment.

Technology products that can work together provide more "sustainable value for student learning and instruction," according to the report, as do technologies that offer equitable and universal access for all students. While low-income students and Title I schools have the greatest need for assistance, restrictive eligibility requirements for technology products can create artificial barriers for districts, according to the report.

The report also points out the importance of "anytime, anywhere" access "to realize the potential of digital learning strategies." To support those strategies, districts need to provide students with access to mobile devices and affordable home Internet access with sufficient data levels.

Finally, for digital learning initiatives to benefit student achievement, educators must have access to professional development opportunities to support those initiatives, and educational content and technologies must be aligned to Common Core State Standards.

The full report is available as a free PDF download from the EveryoneON site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].