Information and Communication Technology and Educational Policies in the United States of America and Canada
This chapter reviews ICT and education policy in the United States and Canada; both countries have populations with diverse cultures, languages, socioeconomics, and ideologies. Generally local school authorities provide education, while state/territory and national bodies exert influence. Focus areas in this chapter include ICT infrastructure, protections for student data and privacy, data interoperability, personalized learning, online assessment, and updates to national technology standards and frameworks. In addition to evolving infrastructure, issues related to supporting “future-ready” learning, perhaps of equal importance, is the ongoing evidence-based evaluation of educational technology and effort to increase the pace and rigor of evidence associated with educational technology purchases and renewals by school districts. Some school systems are moving toward a competency-based education (CBE) model which often requires policy shifts. There is growing interest in exploring new models for teacher preparation and development as well as calls for increased personalization of student learning. Policy debates continue around the degree of equal access to technology that government should require, including whether parity should be required in terms of device age and availability, quality and availability of digital learning materials, and classroom bandwidth and whether the technology is being used actively or passively by students across all socioeconomic groups and across all schools. As policy makers grapple with the displacement of jobs and loss of employment due to advances in technology and continued growth in income inequality, they may turn to policies that encourage better alignment between K-12 education and the skills needed for future careers.
KeywordsTechnology Educational policies United States Canada
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