Technology is now a fundamental consideration in education – it can’t be separated from the policies and practices to improve education. With the growing use of technology in education, issues and concerns are also increasing. State leaders need reliable information about these issues and its effect on education. They also need to maintain a regular state-level review of technology-related legislation and policies on education standards, access and infrastructure. This is to ensure that these policies are adequate, necessary, aligned and integrated.
To support relevant standards, strong accountability systems, equitable access to education, and practices that allow students to make continuous educational progress, maintaining a sound policy framework for education technology is important. It is also critical to align these policies with system-wide or district-wide policies state, and with federal laws and regulations. Schools and districts inevitably become confused, make mistakes, and repeat work unnecessarily or leave work undone when local or state policies are not aligned with federal guidelines. For schools and agencies that are already understaffed and underfunded, these errors exacerbate the strain.
Policies on technology infrastructure and data systems must be flexible enough to incorporate new tools and practices as educational technologies change quickly, and yet be secure enough to ensure the privacy of the data they contain. Well-meaning but unnecessary policies often present barriers to innovative learning models and emerging technology tools. As technology systems and various digital tools provide other ways to account for academic progress, the related policies need to be flexible enough to support these innovations. Education reform and policy change must go hand in hand.