The National Education Technology Plan (2010) presents five goals that outline the essential components of learning powered by technology. These include Learning, Assessment, Teaching, Infrastructure, and Productivity. This plan recognizes that technology should be at the core of learning and educators must use it to provide a powerful and effective learning experience for all students. It calls to engage and empower students by providing state-of-the-art technology that will allow limitless opportunities in a 21st century job market. The plan stresses that educators need to “rethink our basic assumptions” and redesign and transform our education system to include technology. One of the goals and recommendations that the NETP presented is that research and development on how embedded assessment technologies such as simulations, collaboration environments, virtual worlds, games, and cognitive tutors, can be used to engage and motivate learners while assessing complex skills. Often to the general public, playing games in school may seem counterproductive. Some fail to see that these types of assessments will engage learners’ interests while giving them timely feedback and motivating them to learn important concepts and skills.
The plan also identifies the role of the Department of Education as a facilitator between districts, states, and higher education institutions to design, develop, and rescale technology-based assessment resources to include electronic learning, student data for continuous improvement, and new business models. I was most interested in the views on assessment and how the plan outlines improvements. I strongly believe that accurate assessment is the key to provide new and improved ways increasing the quality of technology based instruction. I agree that these skills cannot be reviewed with conventional testing methods. This leaves a great need for the design and development of assessment strategies on a whole new level.