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
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
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:
- Interoperability and integration;
- Equitable and universal access;
- Mobile optimization and home connectivity; and
- 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
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].