Meeting of the Board of Regents | May 2009
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Richard P. Mills
Regents Statewide Educational Technology Plan
May 8, 2009
Goals 1 through 4
Issue for Discussion
The Regents will review an updated vision and goals for technology in teaching and learning in New York State. This document continues the development of a statewide plan for educational technology by including high-level action statements and a proposed time frame for implementation. The Regents will also review a summary of outreach conducted with stakeholders to date.
Reason(s) for Consideration
Information and further development of a statewide plan for educational technology.
Full implementation of the statewide plan for educational technology will require the consideration of many fundamental changes to the policies, practices, regulations, and resources related to teaching and learning environments across the University of the State of New York (USNY). The Board of Regents will develop a broader understanding of the impact of educational technology upon learning across USNY. To achieve this understanding, the Board will start with a framework of a vision for education and a clear set of goals for educational technology. From that framework, we will ask practitioners and experts across USNY to provide the specific actions around educational technology, including the methods and the tools employed to achieve higher levels of teaching and learning.
This item will come before the Full Board for discussion at the May 2009 meeting and to the field for comment beginning this summer.
At the March 2009 meeting of the Full Board, the Regents supported consultation with the field on a draft vision and goals, as well as to solicit ideas on what actions will be necessary to accomplish the goals and realize the vision. Outreach to multiple leaders of statewide professional organizations began in April and will continue statewide throughout the summer. On April 22, 2009, the first stakeholder outreach meeting was held. A summary of that meeting feedback is included in attachment A.
The USNY Technology Practices and Policy Council (TPPC), in its September 2007 report to the Board, offered eight recommendations regarding digital capacity, content, and use. The Council further called on the Board and the Department to implement these recommendations with careful leadership. In response to the report, the Chancellor appointed a Regents Work Group, comprised of Regent Charles R. Bendit, Regent Joseph E. Bowman, Jr., and Regent Harry Phillips, to consult with the field and provide guidance on next steps.
The Regents Work Group presented its recommendations to the Board in July 2008. The Group recommended, as first steps, formalizing a statewide educational technology plan (attachment B) by May 2009 and establishing a Department office to oversee implementation. Hiring of the Technology Policy Coordinator was completed in April. The SED Instructional Technology Task Force has proposed the vision, goals, and high-level action steps with a proposed time frame for implementation as the initial components of the plan.
The New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC) is involved in the further development of this plan by assisting in identifying and engaging key experts who are leaders in this area and have strong experiences at state, national, and international levels. In addition, the NYCC will provide research support to address questions including but not limited to those listed above under the Reasons for Consideration.
It is recommended that the Regents support continued consultation with the field on the vision and goals, as well as on the actions that will be necessary to accomplish the goals and realize the vision. After consultation with the field, a final plan would be presented to the Regents in the fall.
Timetable for Implementation
Attachment A: Summary of April 2009 stakeholder outreach
Attachment B: Draft of statewide educational technology plan
New York State Education Department
Summary of Stakeholder Outreach
March – April 2009
The Department has engaged multiple stakeholders statewide to share the mission and vision for the Regents’ educational technology plan. Stakeholders have also considered actions that support the goals and realize the vision.
Presentations by Commissioner Mills and Deputy Commissioners
On March 6, Commissioner Mills presented remarks entitled “Envision a Technology-Rich Education Environment” at the Celebration of Teaching and Learning in New York City, a yearly event sponsored by Thirteen/WNET. A transcript of these remarks is posted on the Department’s web site. In March, The mission, vision, and goals were also shared with the general managers of public broadcasting stations. On April 6, Deputy Commissioner David Miller addressed key stakeholders in instructional technology and cultural institutions at the Albany Institute of History and Art.
The USNY Technology Policy and Practices Council (TPPC)
Every month, the TPPC meets to advise the Board of Regents, and has provided continued support for the statewide educational technology plan. To date, the TPPC has reviewed the mission, vision, and goals, and began its own engagement with critical stakeholders to discuss the technology plan. On April 22, the TPPC heard a summary of stakeholder outreach to date.
First Key Stakeholder Leaders Meeting
The first 90-minute facilitated conversation with leaders of major professional associations was held in Albany on Wednesday, April 22. The following is a summary of feedback from that meeting:
The Board of Regents is on the right path. Participants acknowledge that we all share this mission and vision, and saw their own values reflected in them. Participants saw the transformational nature of the mission and vision. The goals address the major areas surrounding technology for teaching and learning. They expand the notion of partnership and broad outreach beyond the classroom. They should all refer to P – 16 education and build from there. Motivation and empowerment are key components to meet the goals. The present uses of technology tend to reinforce traditional (passive learners) approaches to teaching and learning.
Advice to move forward:
1. Establish benchmarks related to all aspects of the plan.
2. Respect the nature of teaching and learning.
3. Sustain this plan by keeping us all involved.
Future Outreach Planned
- Create a web page for the new office that oversees implementation of the plan.
- Facilitate conversations with diverse community members around New York State.
- Continue key stakeholder leaders meetings.
New York State Education Department
Statewide Educational Technology Plan
The education technology mission of the Board of Regents is to develop policies, recommend practices, advocate for resources, and create incentives for action that turn our vision into a commonplace reality. Our mission, through the University of the State of New York (USNY)*, is to provide a user-friendly and seamless technology-enhanced learning environment that serves the increasing needs of our citizens.
Vision of Technology for Teaching and Learning
The Regents have an urgent need to raise the knowledge, skill and opportunity of all the people of the State of New York. New technologies have created powerful new learning tools which will transform the learning environment for students of all ages. Learning technologies will be seamlessly integrated into teaching and learning to increase student achievement. USNY will use technology to measure performance and communicate results to learners, teachers, leaders, and citizens. Through USNY, New York citizens will benefit from technology that brings information and knowledge to improve their lives.
USNY will provide learning technologies that change how students learn, what they learn, and why they learn. Students will access information to broaden and deepen knowledge about subjects in ways unimagined by prior generations.
All students will access learning materials in electronic form, including video, text, and other digital content related to the school curriculum. Students will create work, define and solve problems, and research and evaluate information using technology. Students will manage the flow of information and use technology to work with others from diverse backgrounds and locations. Our students will develop innovative approaches to communicate and collaborate.
Multiple environments will exist for teaching and learning, unbound by place, time, income, language or disability. The classroom, gymnasium, laboratory, library, theater, and museum will be a workspace for teachers and learners but will not always be a physical space. Students will access learning resources anywhere, anytime through the use of technology.
Technology is first a new path for teaching and learning, but it is also a body of practices, skill, and knowledge to be learned. All New York State learners will develop technological literacy to enter college, become productive members of the workforce, and succeed as citizens. Students, teachers, and leaders will have clear standards for what students should know and be able to do with technology, and these standards will be visible to the public to drive the standards even higher.
*The University of the State of New York (USNY) is the most complete, interconnected system of educational services in the United States. USNY includes 7,000 public and private elementary and secondary schools; 248 colleges and universities; 251 for-profit schools; nearly 7,000 libraries; 750 museums; the State Archives, Library and Museum; vocational rehabilitation services for adults with disabilities; State schools for the blind and for the deaf; 25 public broadcasting facilities; and more than half a million licensed professionals.
The mission and vision are part of a broad technology initiative by the Board of Regents that encompasses three major areas including Data Collection and Accountability, Communications, and Teaching and Learning. The Board of Regents and the State Education Department (SED) are currently addressing the need for data-driven decision-making and accountability through the development of a P-16 data collection and reporting system. They are addressing the need to increase communication capacity by using the internet, streaming videos, re-designing web resources and other digital resources to help all New Yorkers to access and share information in the USNY network. This statewide educational technology plan is the third component of this technology effort focusing on teaching and learning.
New York State will realize the mission and vision through a progressive shift in leadership for policy, practice, and resources that guide teaching and learning statewide. From pre-kindergarten to adult education, educational technology will fundamentally change how, what, when, and where all citizens learn. Individuals and cultures interact, produce and consume information, and learn in ways unimagined in the previous decade. Computational capabilities, tools, and collective knowledge have grown, and will continue to increase exponentially. Just as human activities, occupations, and life experiences are transformed by technology, we must unleash technology in ways that create systemic change in the very nature of teaching and learning.
The rapid emergence and use of new technologies strengthen the need to ensure that all learners know and practice safe, effective, ethical, and equitable uses of technology, through such means as training in cyber security and internet safety. All learners, including our youngest students, students with special needs and English language learners, will have guidance on the instructional use of social networking spaces and online coursework to meet high learning standards and credit or degree requirements. Many students and teachers use various technologies in their lives, yet many others lack basic access or information to use technology often or adequately. Many students and teachers report using technology widely outside of school, but less often in the classroom.
The impact of technology on education cannot be ignored, be left to chance, or be solely dependent on the initiative of individual practitioners. New York can lead and nurture an educational environment that meets the needs of learners already in school alongside those not yet born. New York already has the most complete, interconnected system of educational services in the United States. That system can be harnessed in a virtual environment that responds to future learning needs.
The Board of Regents and the State Education Department (SED) have conducted research for a foundation that transforms educational theory and practice in New York State across time and place. The Board of Regents established the USNY Technology Practices and Policy Council (TPPC), an advisory group of statewide educational technology leaders, to harness the capacity of USNY to strengthen teaching and learning through technology. In its September 2007 report to the Board, the TPPC offered eight recommendations regarding digital capacity, content, and use. The Council further called on the Board and the Department to implement these recommendations with careful leadership.
In response to the report, Chancellor Emeritus Robert M. Bennett appointed a Regents Work Group, comprised of Regent Charles R. Bendit, Regent Joseph E. Bowman, Jr., and Regent Harry Phillips, to consult with the field and provide guidance on next steps. The Regents Work Group presented its recommendations to the Board in July 2008. The Group recommended, as first steps, formalizing a statewide educational technology plan and establishing a Department office to oversee its implementation. An SED Task Force proposes the following mission and vision, goals, and high-level action steps as the initial components of the draft plan.
The educational technology plan is built around basic assumptions and principles:
- USNY is an interconnected system capable of transforming the culture of teaching and learning statewide through technology. All USNY resources – from local school districts to public libraries, from higher education institutions to local museums – will be aligned in a virtual environment.
- An interconnected set of expectations, practices, and resources across USNY will result in systemic change.
- A shift must occur not merely in the types of tools that are used for education, but in the very nature and settings of teaching and learning.
- The educational technology plan should not merely prepare all New Yorkers for the world of today, but for the world of tomorrow – a world encompassing issues, needs, occupations, and technologies as yet unknown.
- Data will continuously be collected and shared via systems that bridge across USNY.
This plan contains six goals to realize the mission and vision. A series of high-level action steps will begin the foundation needed to build connections across USNY and New York State over the next few years to create systemic change. An initial step underway assesses current digital capacity and access statewide through dissemination of a survey.
The first three goals represent the elements of the desired system:
- Digital Content
- Digital Use
- Digital Capacity and Access
1. Standards-based, accessible digital content supports all curricula for all learners.
Accessible is defined as: content available anywhere, easy to retrieve using multiple technology devices, and content is universally designed. Aligning digital content to the New York State learning standards is how we will ensure quality and relevance in the PreK-12 environment.
2. Learners, teachers, and administrators are proficient in the use of technology for learning.
Proficiency is defined, in large measure, by standards for desired levels of skills, knowledge and performance. Proficiency encompasses such areas as social networks and internet safety.
3. New York’s technology infrastructure supports teaching and learning in all environments.
Infrastructure incorporates: connectivity and broadband, equipment and devices, as well as technical and professional support to create, maintain and grow the whole.
The next three goals represent the necessary conditions that are needed to achieve the desired elements:
4. USNY institutions are united in realizing the vision.
It is necessary to create consistent understanding across all schools, colleges, and cultural institutions of: a) the vision; b) respective roles and responsibilities; and c) shared accountability for fulfilling responsibilities. Getting this consistency will require leadership at all levels and across the whole system as well as meaningful partnerships with stakeholders outside the formal educational system.
5. All New Yorkers can obtain and understand information to assess teaching and learning.
New Yorkers would have easy access to information, be able to understand it, and be able to draw independent conclusions about it. All leaders, teachers, students, and parents will be able to access data-driven information that informs their decisions. The successes and continuing needs of education statewide will be documented through such portals as the P-16 data system.
6. Funding is coordinated, adequate, and sustainable, and is equitably distributed.
Funding refers to more than just monies that are currently provided by government sources. It is intended to include both existing funds and prospective support that may be available from the private sector, foundations, and other sources.
The elements of content, use, and capacity and access will be addressed concurrently through leadership, accountability, and funding. High-level action statements will be interconnected across the six goals to build systemic change over time. Each of the following action statements originated to support a specific goal, yet they address multiple goals simultaneously to maximize the transformation of teaching and learning through technology. Such interconnected and simultaneous actions do not lead to achievement of the goals at specific points in time, but in increasing degrees over time. As some actions are completed, new paths for developing others will open. The timeframe for completion is organized around a framework in which levels of complexity and support will increase incrementally, culminating in systemic change beginning in the third year of plan implementation.
Action statements are organized around the following developmental framework for change:
Foundational change (Years 1 – 3): Actions at this level are designed to establish the work and support for building the vision across USNY. A major part of this effort involves meetings with practitioners, leaders, experts, and students, who will be asked to identify clear, actionable steps to achieve a joint vision. These partners will become major authors in developing the plan.
- Encourage and inspire a robust digital learning culture throughout New York State and foster the understanding needed to reach the vision. Engage the field in on-going outreach to help develop and implement the plan through community forums, surveys, physical and virtual meetings, and dissemination on the SED web site.
- Establish, implement, and periodically review standards for the use of technology by learners, teachers, and administrators. Standards will be interconnected with other standards developed by and implemented throughout USNY, and aligned with national and international standards such as those by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Ensure that such standards prepare students for success in college and to enter the workforce.
- Establish, implement and evaluate policies and regulations to provide opportunities for digital use by learners, teachers, and administrators. Conduct an initial needs assessment to summarize and build upon current local, State, Federal, and international legislation related to educational technology.
- Develop standards, peer review practices, and evaluation criteria to ensure high quality digital content. Assess current practices in developing and disseminating digital resources to update benchmarks throughout USNY.
- Develop network capacity sufficient for access and use of digital resources in all formats. Base action steps on the recommendations of the New York State Council for Universal Broadband to provide equitable access to high-speed internet connectivity throughout USNY.
- Align funding streams to statewide educational technology priorities. Establish baseline data by identifying resources, dollars, agencies, and current guidelines for funding. Develop consistent funding requirements that interconnect needs across USNY.
- Develop a performance measurement process to track implementation of the New York State Educational Technology Plan by NYSED and USNY. Determine the metrics for USNY institutions that demonstrate the degree to which they meet the respective standards created from this plan.
Connective change (Years 2 – 4): Actions at this level are designed to foster partnerships and connections across USNY and New York State for mutually reaching the goals.
- Create and sustain collaborations that achieve seamless technology use across all USNY institutions.
- Advocate for supportive laws, policies, regulations, and funding.
- Determine the costs of creating an effective digital learning culture.
- Advocate for funding from federal, state, and private partners.
- Establish and maintain a clearinghouse to identify and integrate content.
- Equip learners with equitable and ubiquitous access to current and emerging technology devices.
Systemic change (Years 3 and forward): Actions at this level are designed to harness the capacity of USNY to transform learning environments through technology.
- Develop peer collaborations to support, enhance and expand the use of content.
- Create a public portal which creates and makes available data on teaching and learning outcomes for all New Yorkers.
- Provide effective technical support for technology integration into teaching, learning, and system operations.
True systemic change results from an established foundation for growing a shared vision and mission for technology in the transformation of teaching and learning across New York State, and subsequently through connections and partnerships to realize such transformation.
Each action will include an assignment of a lead entity responsible for its completion. This entity is not intended to be an individual person, but rather specific organizations (such as the Board of Regents or the State Education Department) or groups (such as the District Superintendents, Regional Information Center Directors, school districts, Public Broadcasting Directors, and others). Each action will also include performance indicators to allow the Board of Regents and the State Education Department to monitor progress and know that the goal has been achieved over time.
Further development of the plan continues with multiple engagements among the Board of Regents, SED, and educational partners statewide. Such engagements will collectively establish the very next steps to be taken. The primary function of such engagements is to develop the initial and ongoing first action for foundational change, to inspire a robust digital learning culture. In the plan, robust refers to a high degree of quality and quantity – the strengths and abilities of a learning culture to increase achievement for all learners.
Each goal was developed separately. In order to realize the transformation of teaching and learning, their respective actions are interconnected and often simultaneous. Transformation is not accomplished in a prescribed sequence; instead, it occurs at different entry points and in different stages depending on the strengths and needs of each part of USNY. In a culture of rapid change and growth, the goals are dependent on individual and collective abilities to harness and leverage existing environments to match needs as yet unknown. The actions which individuals and groups will take depend in large part on current capacities and desires.