Transforming Schooling via the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan
by Chris Dede - June 02, 2010
Along with many others, I believe that a new structure for formal education is needed for our nation's graduates to compete in the 21st century knowledge-based global economy. The one-room rural schoolhouse, emblematic of agricultural America, was replaced a century ago with the industrial-era schools we still have today. A comparable shift is necessary now; valiant attempts to keep the obsolete structure of today's schools (and colleges), but change people, policies, and practices are falling well short of delivering high quality educational outcomes for all our students. The U.S. Department of Education's draft 2010 National Educational Technology Plan provides a pathway towards developing a 21st century model of formal education to replace industrial-era schooling. Schools as custodial institutions are a starting point for considering the work of teaching, but a distributed model of human and technical infrastructure encompasses a wider context of formal learning outside of classrooms that includes parents, museum and library staff, community members, and older peers as educators who collaborate with teachers in achieving equity and excellence. The many affordances of modern technology can now support both a broader suite of roles involving "teaching" and a range of educational delivery systems beyond the walls of the school.
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