Consultant Advises that Utah Infrastructure Can Liberate Rather than Confine Education
Task force told that combining teacher professional learning with technology and tech support is path to digital integration
SALT LAKE CITY –“Infrastructure, teacher professional learning and readily available technical support can liberate rather than confine Utah education,” said consultant Jeff Mao in his first face-to-face meeting with the Utah Digital Learning Task Force Thursday afternoon.
Task Force members agreed. Chairman David L. Thomas said “A robust discussion of teacher training and digital citizenship isn’t optional” in the planning process.
Mao, of Common Sense Education, is aiding the task force in preparing a statewide school technology proposal for approval by the Utah State Board of Education and the Utah State Legislature. He also advised “fewer dollars will leave the state if your plan includes coordinated purchasing.”
Common Sense will draft a plan and advise the task force on a program aimed both at improving Utah student achievement through the use of digital teaching and learning and providing high quality professional development for Utah teachers in the use of digital technology in the classroom.
The task force was created and funded by the legislature and is chaired by Utah State Board of Education Vice Chairman David L. Thomas. The task force’s master plan is scheduled to be presented to the State Board of Education and the Education Interim Committee in October and to the Executive Appropriations Committee in November.
The 12-member Utah task force includes district superintendents and technology directors, representatives of charter schools, the Governor’s office, the legislature and the Utah State Board of Education. It includes support staff from the Governor’s Office, Utah Education and Telehealth Network, and the Utah State Office of Education. More information about the task force is available at: www.uen.org/digital-learning.