Technology Use Planning Overview

15 Apr

Change is coming…..

What is technology use planning?

  • It is a short term plan that focuses on technology applications to reach desired outcome for learners and educators.
  • It is a SMART goal for learning utilizing technology in curriculum delivery.
  • It is embedded in staff development

The one thing that really stood out to me in the Transforming American Education Learning Powered by Technology (United States Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, 2010) publication is the shift to a learner focus. The plan must address the questions:  what are the desired outcomes for the learners, and how can technology enhance the learning and curriculum delivery? While building an infrastructure is critical, institutional hardware and software purchasing shouldn’t be what drives the plan. We are in the business of education, and our customers are the students. It is their needs that should be driving our planning. A couple of years ago my state began requiring the technology plan be tied to school improvement goals. I think this is a major step forward in outcome based technology planning. We have a ways to go, but it is progress.

In the article Developing Effective Technology Plans, See (1992) made a strong case for short term plans, stating the rapid change in technology. I agree that plans need to be for shorter time spans. For the past 12 years, I have been involved in one aspect or another with a district’s technology team. For six years this included writing the technology plans and e-rate applications. The technology plans were in 5 year increments, with an option to update (if approved by the state). This was/is a tedious and time consuming task, trying to plan for technology that may be antiquated in a couple of years. The focus of the plans seemed to be on quantity – how many computers, running what applications. Quality of integration or learning sadly was not the focus.  See (1992) points out that student outcome should drive the technology use plan. He continues to say that curriculum enhancement and staff development are also critical elements of and effective plan.


Anderson, L. (1996). Guidebook for developing an effective instructional technology plan, version 2.0. National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved from

See, J. (1992). Developing effective technology plans. National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Technology Education. (2010). Transforming American education: learning powered by technology (Contract No. ED-04-CO-0040). Retrieved from



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