From personalizing instruction to providing useful professional development for educators to graduating every student ready for college and career, states and districts set many different goals for the their schools. But almost every education goal has one thing in common: the effective use of education data is critical to its success.
States and districts are increasingly turning to education technology as a way to personalize learning, boost student achievement, and use data in service of all of their goals. But implementing a successful technology plan and using data well to support student learning takes much more thought, planning, and collaboration than buying a bunch of computers. And less than 30 percent of U.S. schools have the capacity to teach effectively using technology.
Effective education data use to personalize learning requires time and training for teachers to be able implement it effectively. The same is true for ensuring student information is kept safe when using education technology, an essential component of effective use.
Fortunately, districts–and now states–across the country have Future Ready, an initiative of the Office of Educational Technology and the Alliance for Excellent Education, to aid in the creation of innovative and smart education technology plans.
The Future Ready framework provides resources and best practices to guide districts as they consider all aspects of their education technology plan including how to integrate strong data practices that safeguard privacy, how to budget for necessary resources, and how to use the school’s space and time to integrate technology into learning. The framework also provides guidance on engaging community partners. Meaningful, ongoing engagement helps ensure education initiatives are meeting the needs and reflecting the knowledge and expertise of everyone involved; we know that when teachers have input into which digital resources they use, they are more likely to find them effective at providing the information they need.
But Future Ready’s resources aren’t just for districts—17 states have now adopted the framework to support their district leaders as they develop education technology initiatives in their schools. For example, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has created its own Future Ready Digital Learning Plan while Missouri has created a unique Future Ready resource hub for its districts.
As states and districts continue to harness the power of education data—and embrace technology as a critical tool in using data and meeting their education goals—Future Ready provides the concrete guidance and tools they need to make technology and data work for all students.
Also published on Medium.