Have you seen the Strategic Technology Plan? It is the culmination of an 18-month long analysis by the Technology Transformation Task Force of the state board and we’re already seeing results from that work. Read below for an excerpt of the Executive Summary. I mention it because I’m following HB 1946 (Regarding higher education online technology), which would, among other things, enable an audit of online technologies available statewide and subsequent methods for implementation of services. It would require funding, so it’s hard to tell where it will go. But it is inspiring to read the text of the bill.
Excerpt from Executive Summary of Strategic Technology Plan
Washington needs more people with higher levels of education and skill to sustain our prosperity, our democracy, and our diverse and innovative culture. To achieve this goal, we can no longer simply wait for people to enroll in our colleges; we must reach out to all those who can benefit from further education, and help them succeed at learning.
Community and technical colleges are at the center of this challenge. Our open door policy meets people wherever they are on their educational journey, whether they are high school dropouts, new immigrants, high school graduates seeking a college degree or job skills, or mid-career professionals retraining for new opportunities.
Fuller use of information technology is key to making education more accessible and user-friendly for every kind of learner. But we are late to recognize the educational impact and potential of the Internet, late to take advantage of the shift to open, student-centered, web-based applications, and late to listen to what our students and faculty are telling us about what they need to thrive in the 21st century.
Even though we are ahead of many other states in our use of online learning, we are far behind the level of technological sophistication of today’s workplaces, and far behind in mobilizing technologies that could help increase student learning, provide friendlier, faster student services, and improve administrative efficiency, data analysis, and accountability.