Educational Technology Plan for Virginia: Introduction
News & Announcements
The DRAFT 2017-2022 Educational Technology Plan for Virginia will be reviewed by the Board of Education at the September 2017 meeting and the Final Draft will be published for public comment from October 2-October 31.
Since the 1980s, the Virginia General Assembly, the Virginia Board of Education and the Virginia Department of Education have recognized and supported technology’s role in meeting their collective vision for schools in the Commonwealth. Through legislation, initiatives, guidance, and forward-thinking leadership, Virginia has implemented many excellent educational technology programs-This is a Word document. (Word) over these last decades.
The local autonomy of school divisions has led to diverse creative and innovative approaches to technology throughout the state. Virginia’s divisions are often cited in studies and articles-This is a Word document. (Word) exploring innovation in educational technology. However, there is also an inequality that can result from local control based on local priorities, and the educational institutions of Virginia have tried to address these in various ways, with more work needed in this area.
The 2017-2022 Educational Technology Plan for Virginia is the latest revision of long-range technology plans adopted by the Board of Education to support their Comprehensive Plan. The focus of the plans have remained relatively consistent throughout the years. The most enduring consistency is the emphasis on integrating technology into the classroom, as a tool for providing ways for students to achieve in school more broadly and more deeply. The plan also has generally been composed of the five subsections of the current plan in some way or another:
- Learning (emphasis on students),
- Teaching (emphasis on professional learning),
- Leadership (moving forward to the future with planning),
- Infrastructure (technology, software and people), and
- Accountability (how to know what is working).
The Technology Plan for Virginia has two distinct but related purposes. It provides a plan for the Virginia Department of Education in regards to the use and support of educational technology to support the Board of Education’s Comprehensive Plan. However, it also serves as a model and standard to which all school divisions in Virginia must align (§ 22.1-253.13:6. Standard 6. Planning and public involvement.). In order to assist school divisions to align their own plans with the state plan, we have provided in each subsection an area listing potential strategies school divisions may want to consider using (however, these are not REQUIRED strategies, just suggestions). There is also a separate web page, Division Plan Alignment, which directly addresses this requirement and how divisions must go about meeting it, along with forms to use.
The new long-range plan continues our continual revision process, using the Board of Education’s Profile of a Virginia Graduate as the ultimate vision for the current plan. This revision has been developed through the effort of our working committee, the Virginia Educational Technology Workgroup, to incorporate feedback from many different stakeholders, including teachers, instructional technology resource teachers, special education specialists, superintendents, principals, content specialists, librarians, school board members, higher education representatives and many others. It was developed to be a living document, one that can change as needed because it is posted electronically and one for which we can continually supply new examples of educational technology in action, links to research and/or information, and other helpful non-commercial resources.
Because of this latter feature, we invite our Virginia school personnel to participate in the continual development of our plan by letting us know of good resources to share with your fellow educators. Email VirtualPrograms@doe.virginia.gov to provide information or links that could be included in the plan.
One last and very important note: the technology uses referenced in our plan includes technology for ALL students, as the increased emphasis on personalized learning makes clear. Along with the needs of typical students, the needs of exceptional students at both ends of the spectrum must be addressed.