U.S. Department of Education Unveils Ambitious 2024 National Educational Technology Plan

U.S. Department of Education Unveils Ambitious 2024 National Educational Technology Plan

The United States Department of Education today released the 2024 National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) in an effort to bridge digital divides and propel education forward. This pivotal plan, which was first introduced in 2000, has been updated several times, the most recent being in 2016.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasized the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to closing the digital divide, citing substantial investments from the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Cardona sees the 2024 NETP as a strategic tool for leveraging technology to improve the instructional core, close achievement gaps, and elevate student learning.

Unlike its predecessors, the 2024 NETP does more than simply survey the educational technology landscape. It identifies three critical divides that impede the transformative potential of technology in education.

  1. The Digital Use Divide: Focusing on improving how students leverage technology for learning, emphasizing dynamic applications for exploration, creation, and critical analysis of academic content.
  2. The Digital Design Divide: Addressing opportunities for educators to enhance professional learning and develop capacities for designing technology-enabled learning experiences.
  3. The Digital Access Divide: Targeting equitable access to educational technology, encompassing connectivity, devices, digital content, and considerations for accessibility, digital health, safety, and citizenship.

The plan meticulously maps these divides to the “instructional core” (students, teachers, and content) and makes actionable recommendations to states, districts, and school leaders. The NETP, which draws on examples from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several Territories, seeks to guide efforts to address educational technology disparities and close identified gaps.

The Department of Education will release guidelines on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s assistive technology requirements along with a list of federal resources to support students’ digital citizenship, safety, and health in conjunction with the 2024 NETP.

For more information on the 2024 National Educational Technology Plan, visit tech.ed.gov/netp. The plan represents a bold step toward a more inclusive, technology-enabled educational landscape, paving the way for a brighter future in American education.

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