Presentation Title

Neither Here nor There: Competing Discourses in the 2017 National Educational Technology Plan

Biographical Sketch

Bradley Robinson is a doctoral student in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia. He is a National Board Certified teacher in English Language Arts with over a decade of experience in North Carolina's public schools. His research explores the intersections of literacy, technology, and neoliberalism in formal and informal educational spaces.

Donna Alvermann is a University of Georgia Appointed Distinguished Research Professor of Language and Literacy Education. Formerly a classroom teacher in Texas and New York, her research focuses on young people’s digital literacy practices studied under varying theoretical and philosophical lenses. She directed the National Reading Research Center from 1992-1997 at the University of Georgia. Among her authored, co-authored, and co-edited books, the following relate most directly to this proposed paper session: Adolescents and Literacies in a Digital World; Reconceptualizing the Literacies in Adolescents’ Lives (3rd ed.) and Adolescents’ Online Literacies: Connecting Classrooms, Digital Media, & Popular Culture (2nd ed.). Alvermann is a recipient of the Literacy Research Association’s Oscar Causey Award for Outstanding Contributions to Reading Research. Elected to the Reading Hall of Fame in 1999, she was awarded the International Reading Association’s highest honor, the William S. Gray Citation of Merit, and is a Fellow in the American Educational Research Association.

Type of Presentation

Individual presentation

Brief Description of Presentation

This presentation will examine the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology’s 2017 “National Educational Technology Plan.” We will begin by demonstrating how the document is framed by neoliberal discourses around individuality, competition, and wealth accumulation. We will then illustrate how such neoliberal discourses stand in contrast with other discourses related to social justice and equity in the document. After calling attention to these tensions, we will discuss their implications for research, policy, and practice.

Abstract of Proposal

In January, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology published a policy document entitled, “Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education: 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update.” The document, which effectively sets the Department of Education’s agenda related to educational technology, offers a broad framework of goals, best practices, and exemplars related to the integration of digital tools across grade levels and content areas. Drawing on critical literacy perspectives, we offer a close reading of the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) to uncover the document’s competing discourses and to explore their implications for education research, policy, and practice. Given the Office of Educational Technology’s stated purpose in the NETP is “to ensure learners of all ages have opportunities for personal growth and prosperity and remain competitive in a global economy,” we explore how such neoliberal framing vies with the document's attention to issues around digital citizenship, critical thinking, equity, and social justice.

Start Date

2-23-2018 2:45 PM

End Date

2-23-2018 3:45 PM

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Feb 23rd, 2:45 PM Feb 23rd, 3:45 PM

Neither Here nor There: Competing Discourses in the 2017 National Educational Technology Plan

In January, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology published a policy document entitled, “Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education: 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update.” The document, which effectively sets the Department of Education’s agenda related to educational technology, offers a broad framework of goals, best practices, and exemplars related to the integration of digital tools across grade levels and content areas. Drawing on critical literacy perspectives, we offer a close reading of the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) to uncover the document’s competing discourses and to explore their implications for education research, policy, and practice. Given the Office of Educational Technology’s stated purpose in the NETP is “to ensure learners of all ages have opportunities for personal growth and prosperity and remain competitive in a global economy,” we explore how such neoliberal framing vies with the document's attention to issues around digital citizenship, critical thinking, equity, and social justice.