Recently, the 2016 Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education National Education Technology Plan was revealed by the Office of Educational Technology, United States Department of Education.
The purpose of this plan is to set a vision and a plan for how technology can enable learning from K12 to higher education. The goal is to create a call to action and to offer recommendations for teachers, administrators, and professionals.
“Engaging and Empowering Learning Through Technology“
This 106 page report is broken down into the following sections:
- Section 1: Learning – Engaging and Empower Learning through Technology
- Section 2: Teaching – Teaching with Technology
- Section 3: Leadership – Creating a Culture and Conditions for Innovation and Change
- Section 4: Assessment – Measuring for Learning
- Section 5: Infrastructure – Enabling Access and Effective Use
The key recommendations in the NETP, and those that resonate with our work in eLearning and Emerging Technologies include the following:
Section 1: Learning
We need to work to be creative and to build/design instruction that includes resources that take advantage of the flexibility and power of technology. Leveraging technology can open up great flexibility and access to learning beyond the classroom walls. Universal design, personalized learning, adaptive learning, and the use of learning objects or open educational resources are valuable in this work. Our Digital Studio and Instructional Designers in IDeL support this work.
In addition, GVSU’s Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons and Atomic Object Technology Showcase provides informal and serendipitous learning opportunities through unique spaces that include active learning classrooms like the Steelcase media:scape LearnLab.
Section 2: Teaching
Coming along side faculty and equipping them with skills to leverage technology in creating instruction and learning activities for students is another focus of the eLearning and Emerging Technologies group. We offer many seminars and individual consultations facilitated by instructional designers, instructional technologies, and digital media experts.
In addition as the university works to extend online and hybrid learning opportunities through the 2021 strategic plan, our team works in collaboration with faculty to make best use of enterprise applications such as Blackboard and emerging online technologies to support teaching and learning through the Atomic Object Technology Showcase.
Section 3: Leadership
Clear strategic planning through the eLearning and Emerging Technologies vision and mission provides institutional commitment and alignment for the advancement of educational technologies along with online and hybrid courses through the GVSU 2021 strategic plan.
Accelerating the topic of educational technology is also important. These conversations and connections are facilitated through events such as the Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium, Teaching Circles facilitated by IDeL and supported by the FTLC provide opportunity to share best practices.
“Rather than viewing technology as an add-on component to support learning, leaders should take stock of current systems and processes across learning systems and identify those that can be augmented or replaced by existing technologies.”
Section 4: Assessment
Key to teaching and to learning is the aspect of assessment. Learning analytics, formative and summative assessment strategies, dashboards, badges, goals, and enterprise surveys provide feedback about student learning. Many of these capabilities can be executed through tools and capabilities in Blackboard, including the following: enterprise surveys, goals, badging, online assignments/assessments, journals, ePortfolios, and performance dashboards such as the Retention Center.
The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team, especially the IDeL group of instructional designers and the Digital Studio can assist and support faculty in the creation of effective learning activities such as: simulations, educational games, interactive video, and learning objects can engage students while gathering student performance against objectives.
Section 5: Infrastructure
“Only when learners have the tools necessary to complete these activities are they able to realize the potential of education technologies fully.”
In order to provide a foundation for student success, a reliable baseline of technology creates the backbone from which learning can occur through technologically infused activities.
GVSU’s technology enhanced classrooms, pervasive Wifi network, enterprise applications such as (Blackboard, Ensemble, TechSmith Relay, etc.) help to ensure all learners have access to the needed technologies that support the next generation of education.
“The timing has never been better for using technology to enable and improve learning at all levels, in all places, and for people of all backgrounds. From the modernization of E-rate to the proliferation and adoption of openly licensed educational resources, the key pieces necessary to realize best the transformations made possible by technology in education are in place.“
The eLearning and Emerging Technologies team is on mission to support the 2021 GVSU Strategic plan, along with the initiatives and recommendations set forth by the 2016 Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education National Education Technology Plan.