Long Term, but Flexible Educational Technology Planning

Written in response to a colleague’s post.

This is a comprehensive plan. The plan has a sensible period of 3 years. Most district plans are 5 years. The pace of technology impels districts to revisit, evaluate, and adjust their plans sooner than 5 years.

Perhaps tech plans need to be both flexible in the short term and consistent in their long term vision. I have argued at the site, district, and county level for a plan the establishes a method of ongoing systematic monitoring, evaluation, and renewal… on a annual basis at the very least. At the same time, some of the greatest benefits of technology cannot be achieved if a long term view (of more like ten years) is not considered. A plan that includes long term goals and vision statements (5 to 10 years out) to guide specific medium term planning (3 to 5 years out) and flexible short term planning (1 to 3 years out) would be ideal.

The plans are research based. From that research, the subcommittee concludes that all children learn more and better when they have access to technology in an intelligently designed environment (Vision: TEST, 1990, pg. 9-10). They also summarized the educational technology research conducted between 1990 and 1992.

I believe this is blatantly inadequate support for a 2001 to 2004 tech plan, and I think it shows in the plan’s lack of vision and lack of cutting edge 21st century technologies and applications.