2018-2023 Educational Technology Plan for Virginia: Introduction
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. 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. 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 2018-2023 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 subsections of the current plan in some way or another:
- Learning (Enhance Personalized, Equitable Student Learning Experiences with Technology),
- Teaching (Support Innovative Professional Learning with Technology),
- Leadership (Create Cultures of Change through Innovative Leadership Practices), and
- Infrastructure (Secure and Robust Infrastructure).
The new plan was developed to be a living document, one that can change as needed because it is posted electronically and one for which the VDOE can continually supply new examples of educational technology in action, links to research and/or information, and other helpful non-commercial resources. 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.
Impact on School Division Technology Plans
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 for school divisions creating their own technology plans (§ 22.1-253.13:6. Standard 6. Planning and public involvement.). In years past, divisions have submitted their plans for approval by the VDOE. However, there is no longer a need to for this action. Divisions are asked to ensure their plans are consistent with the State Educational Technology Plan for 2018-2023, and certify that it is through the Annual Data Collection (Compliance with the Standards of Quality) which is generally conducted during July of each year. Beyond that, the VDOE will conduct surveys to gather information about how school divisions are addressing the state’s goals.