The Texas Long Range Technology Plan is the state's vision for technology use in Texas Public Schools by the year 2020. It consists of four sections--Teaching and Learning, Teacher Preparation and Development, Leadership, Administration, and Instructional Support, and Infrastructure for Technology. The Texas STaR Chart grades each district and campus based on progress in these four domains.
The first area, Teaching and Learning, focuses on desired student behaviors. In the modern classroom, students will be able to connect to real world learning resources 24/7/365. Learning will be collaborative, creative, and focus on communication and problem solving, all in order to prepare the student for a lifetime of learning in a global, digital marketplace.
According to TEA (2008), STaR chart scores between 2006 and 2008 have shown 5% of districts have moved from early and developing tech, with a corresponding 5% increase in districts labeled advanced tech (p. 39).
Room for growth still exists. Teachers hesitate to completely individualize lessons and activities, balking at the extra work involved. Teachers are also notorious for hesitating to adopt new technologies, with the argument that the traditional methods have always been good enough. But for the students entering school today, who already know how to use a computer, iPod, cellphone, and how to surf the web, one size fits all education will not satisfy them for long. School districts must invest the extra time, professional development, and personnel into the goals outlined in the Texas Long Range Technology Plan in order to keep up with today's students, and provide them with the skills and tools to become tomorrow's technological leaders.
Texas Education Agency. (2008, December). Progress report on the long-range plan for technology, 2006-2020. Retrieved from http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/comm/leg_reports/2008/08pr_to_lrpt.pdf