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On Tuesday, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan released the U.S. Department of Education’s plan for transforming American education through technology, a process that would create state-of-the-art, cradle-to-college school system nationwide.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to reform our schools,” Duncan said during the State Educational Technology Directors Association Education Forum. “With this technology plan, we have laid out a comprehensive vision for how teachers working with technology can transform student learning in classrooms across America. We must dramatically improve teaching and learning, personalize instruction and ensure that the educational environments we offer to all students keep pace with the 21st century.”

The final version of The National Education Technology Plan (NETP), written and refined over 18 months by leading education researchers, also pledges to finance development of open-source educational resources and launch an initiative dedicated to defining and increasing educational productivity, Education Week reported. The Department of Education sees this plan as a crucial component of the administration’s effort to have America lead the world in college completion by 2020 and help close the achievement gap so that all students graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and careers.

The plan, titled “Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology,” presents a model with key goals in five areas: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure and productivity. Each core section outlines concepts for using technology to holistically transform education, with the aim to achieve each goal by 2015.

  • Learning: Change the learning process so it’s more engaging and tailored to students’ needs and interests.
  • Assessment: Measure student progress on the full range of college and career ready standards and use real time data for continuous improvement.
  • Teaching: Connect teachers to the tools, resources, experts and peers they need to be highly effective and supported.
  • Infrastructure: Provide broadband connectivity for all students, everywhere—in schools, throughout communities and in students’ homes.
  • Productivity: Use technology to help schools become more productive and accelerate student achievement while managing costs.

Overall, the plan addresses technology trends that could transform education, such as mobility and accessibility, the rise of digital content, and the rise of online social networks for information, collaboration and learning. Importantly, it stresses that technology in the classroom only works when paired with effective teaching.

“Technology will never replace good teachers,” Duncan said. “We all know that the most important factor in a student’s success is the teacher leading the class. That will not change.”

To read the finalized NETP, “Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology,” visit http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010.

Sources: The Department of Education and Education Week

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Craig Barrett, chairman of Irish Technology Leadership Group, talks about the U.S. educational system, corporate outsourcing and tax rates. Barrett, the former chief executive officer of Intel Corp., speaks with Margaret Brennan on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness.”  (Source: Bloomberg)

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What kind of problems will small businesses face in 2010? Will small businesses continue to see lending difficulties? How will the health care legislation hurt and help small companies? These are just some of the questions answered by MSNBC.com, as they have an open dialogue with the Chief Economist of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) William Dunkelburg, CEO of SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business Ken Yancey, Senior Editor of INC. Magazine Rod Kurtz and author of “Pay Back Time” Phil Town about the future holds for small businesses in 2010.

Take a look at the http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/34620817#34499621 video clip to see what these professionals had to say and let NSSEA know your thoughts!

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