A lot has changed in the education technology landscape in the three years since the Office of Educational Technology in the U.S. Department of Education published its first infrastructure guide.
In this year's edition, a large team led by Susan M. Bearden put together a revised guide that includes an update of what's been happening in the space, such as E-rate reform and more schools hitting Internet connectivity targets. It also covers practical steps that technical staff and education leaders can take to modernize their technology infrastructure.
The 72-page roadmap paints a picture of the promise of ubiquitous computing; how to get started; providing high-speed Internet connectivity to and within schools; getting devices to students and teachers; and responsible use and privacy.
Most of the practical tips come from ed tech leaders in the field who have learned from their mistakes and successes. For example, when they're planning for their network needs, ed tech leaders shouldn't forget about the personal devices that both students and teachers will be using to log on to the school's Wi-Fi. That can take a toll on the network and slow speeds down. It's also important to phase in the use of devices instead of doing one giant roll-out, as some big school districts have learned the hard way.
For more tips, check out the guide online.