What’s New: Transforming Learning with Technology

Let’s visit innovative educational programs where learning is being transformed by technology.  Students around the world are collaborating with researchers, authors, scientists, and public policymakers to expand their learning beyond the classroom. . 

Our itinerary takes us to four locations to see how students, with diverse abilities and needs, are using technology tools in authentic ways to maximize their learning, both in and out of school. These inspirational stories are drawn from the newly released 2016 National Technology Education Plan (NETP16) developed by the American Institutes for Research.  The NETP16 focuses on the need for accessible technology tools to meet the needs of all students.


Examples of Technology Use

In School

  • Jennie Magiera’s 4th grade science class in Chicago was having a hard time understanding how elevation and other environmental influences could affect water’s boiling point. Then it hit her – no wonder this was a tough concept--her students had ever seen a mountain range. She used social media to find a Denver teacher who collaborated with her on a lesson plan that would include real-time video of Colorado’s mountains and a contest to see which class could boil water faster.


  • Maggie Bolado, a teacher at Resaca Middle School in Los Fresnos, Texas, was asked to help a visually impaired student navigate the school’s campus.  Working after school, she guided six 7th and 8th grade girls as they built an app called Hello Navi. When the mother of a visually disabled two-year-old was in search of  a similar app, the girls attended a developers’ forum to upgrade their app. Not only did they help their friend; the girls also won the Verizon Innovative App challenge—$20,000 for their school and tablets for each girl. A high tech company just bought the app to expand and distribute worldwide.

Out of School

  • Black Girls Code (BGC) has engaged hundreds of girls in computer programming through workshops and field trips. In Oakland, more than 100 girls, ages 7 to 17, took a one-day workshop at DeVry University to learn how to code HTML, format webpages using CCS, and design basic Web structures. BGC sponsors 10 to 12 similar events in Oakland each year. Other BGC chapters are in San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, Raleigh and Washington, D.C.


  • Cities of LRNG works with schools, business, and foundations in cities across the county to teach young people about a wide array of tech subjects, including coding and game designing. The program provides a single online platform where young people and their families can discover learning activities from hundreds of community organizations.  Participants earn digital badges that showcase their skills and achievements.

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology funds the development of the National Technology Education Plan. The goal of NETP16 is to encourage educators to reimagine how technology can enhance learning.  Find abundant resources, multi-media stories, and practical suggestions to transform learning for your students.

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