The US Department of Education has released a new Edtech plan aiming to address the existing digital gap and enhance accessibility for all learners.
The plan highlights three significant digital equity divides:
The access divide, encompassing gaps in device and internet access, digital citizenship, and media literacy.
The design divide, reflecting variations in teachers' tech proficiency;
The digital use divide, showcasing differences in tech utilization for student engagement and critical thinking.
The 2024 National Educational Technology Plan (NETP): A Call to Action for Closing the Digital Access, Design and Use Divides, outlines three steps that policymakers at the state level can take to improve digital equity.
The 113-page-long document suggests establishing a cabinet-level edtech director, developing a digital equity plan, and creating a ‘portrait of a learning environment’ defining the suitable and effective use of educational technology while taking into account the abilities and habits of all students.
“The 2024 National Educational Technology Plan is a forward-thinking approach to reframing and realizing the potential of educational technology to enhance the instructional core, reduce achievement gaps, and improve student learning in our schools,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a press update.
The first National Educational Technology Plan was released in 2000 and it was last updated in 2017.