California task force recommends device for every student, teacher


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A task force in California advocates that every student, teacher and administrator in the state have access to at least one Internet-connected device to ensure students have the proper technology to keep pace with modern education.

The Education Technology Task force, which was created in 2012 by Tom Torlakson, California’s state superintendent for public instruction, listed this recommendation along with 18 others in a 49-page report delivered Monday.

The report, titled “Empowering Learning: California’s Education Technology Blueprint, 2014-2017,” was authored by the 48-member task force, which includes teachers, administrators, technology directors, local and county superintendents, school board members, parents, researchers, policy advocates and foundation and community members from around the state.

“As California continues to move toward college and career readiness for every child, education technology has to be part of what we do,” Torlakson said. “I’ve visited classrooms up and down the state and seen everything from virtual science experiments to online group projects. From Common Core to the new Smarter Balanced assessments, our state – which has always led the way in innovation – is focused on preparing students with the real-world skills they need. This new blueprint charts a smart course for getting us there.”

Another of the key recommendations is providing grade-appropriate instruction in the use of technology, including computer science and programming.

The report also calls for professional and curriculum development and teacher certification programs in education technology instruction.

In addition, the report says, all schools must have the technology they need to implement the new computer-based Smarter Balanced assessments that are replacing the pencil-and-paper Standardized Testing and Reporting tests.

Under the topic of infrastructure, California should “explore the deployment of statewide cloud computing data centers” and create a senior-level position for education technology at the California Department of Education, the task force recommends.

The recommendations in the “Empowering Learning: California Education Technology Blueprint, 2014-2017” are detailed on the California Department of Education’s California Education Technology Blueprint Web page.

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California, Education & STEM, State & Local News, States