What is it, what are the benefits, and how can your district or K-12 school get started?

The implementation of competency-based education (CBE) models continues to grow, We understand that CBE options are currently being put into practice in approximately 49 states. With its potential to empower students, bridge equity gaps, and achieve measurable results for students, many schools, districts, and states have implemented different forms of competency-based education. But it is not without its challenges. Let’s take a deeper look at what competency-based education is, what some potential benefits are, and what it looks like in practice.

What is…


The U.S. Department of Interior is hosting the second annual National Tribal Broadband Summit. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology is excited to participate in this summit along with other officials from the Department of Education, and a variety of other agencies. This summit is a timely and important conversation. Internet and broadband access for students and teachers continues to become an increasingly important success factor as schools integrate technology in various ways. Access is even more relevant during the COVID-19 national emergency and for remote learners with limited access to broadband.

To help you to understand…


Announcing the ACE Blockchain Innovation Challenge

How might blockchain be designed to increase access, provide opportunity, and promote success for all learners?

Traffic on highway
Traffic on highway
Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

On August 12, the American Council on Education (ACE) launched the Blockchain Innovation Challenge to explore how blockchain can connect or create ecosystems, empowering individuals — especially those currently most underserved — to gain more control over their learning in order to access economic opportunity. The Blockchain Innovation Challenge seeks bold designs that use blockchain to reorient the education and employment ecosystem around the individuals that they aim to serve.


The Opportunity for Openly Licensed Resources

Hand holding a cell phone with shelves of books in the screen.
Hand holding a cell phone with shelves of books in the screen.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The 2017 National Education Technology Plan, the most-recently issued national technology plan, issued by the U.S. Department of Education, defines openly licensed educational resources as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under a license that permits their free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others. Digital openly licensed resources can include complete online courses, modular digital textbooks as well as more granular resources such as images, videos, and assessment items.”¹

School systems across the country have been investing in openly licensed educational resources in efforts to reduce the cost and increase…


Considerations for teachers in making remote learning active learning

Notebook and various supplies scattered on a table.
Notebook and various supplies scattered on a table.
Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

During in-person instruction, it can be easy to walk into a classroom and see the evidence of active learning taking place. Students are scattered throughout the room talking, drafting, researching, and building. When thinking about moving that same type of learning online it may not be easy to envision the processes, but it is certainly just as important to the quality of learning that takes place. Active learning is what transforms ordinary assignments into enriching projects.

During this current national emergency, schools across the country have implemented remote-learning models. First and foremost, we would like to recognize the extraordinary efforts…


Remote education and supporting elementary and secondary students with disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic

A yellow Post-it Note with a drawing of a lightbulb tacked onto a cork board.
A yellow Post-it Note with a drawing of a lightbulb tacked onto a cork board.
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Understanding how to best address the needs of students with disabilities during extended school building closures is a challenging task. Students with disabilities in elementary and secondary schools include those who have an individualized education program (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and students who are not IDEA-eligible but who have disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title II) and are receiving services as outlined in the Section 504 regulations (often referred to as a Section 504 Plan).

Education leaders may want…


Understanding Student Data Privacy

As a former middle school math public school teacher, I found that educational technology and data collection allowed me to identify where my students excelled and struggled, and to meet their needs in real time.

Data collection through educational technology has many advantages like, among others, allowing teachers to easily personalize learning, know when a student is struggling, and meet students’ needs. With the proper safeguards and when used in accordance with privacy laws, educational technology is something you should feel comfortable and excited about your child using because of its many potential advantages, and how it can transform and…


In our Dear OET series, we will address real issues, challenges, and questions that are sent to our Office of Educational Technology inbox. Ask us a question here!

Man typing on a laptop.
Man typing on a laptop.
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Dear OET,

We have students and families that do not have access to reliable home Internet services. As we transition to implement remote learning, we are considering several immediate actions that we can take to get these students connected. We know that many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer low-cost Internet plans for eligible families and have heard that many ISPs have temporary offers during the current crisis. What should we know about these low-cost Internet plans and how can we help connect families to these offers?

-District Leader Tackling the Digital Divide (DLTtDD)

Dear DLTtDD,

By now, most if not…


When we first launched our Education Blockchains Initiative (EBI), we asked the question — How might blockchain support the educational ecosystem to increase access, provide opportunity, and promote success for all learners?

With the widespread dislocation and disruption in learning and work, educational institutions, businesses, and community organizations need to work together to ensure that learners can continue to learn and then to efficiently share verification of skills and knowledge they have obtained.

On April 22, 2020, we joined our colleagues at the American Council on Education, Dallas County Community Colleges District, and Open Works Group to host a webinar…


Block-what?

OET YouTube

The primary goal of the Office of Educational Technology’s Education Blockchain Initiative (EBI) is to help education stakeholders identify and evaluate ways that distributed ledger technology can improve the flow of data among educational institutions and employers in order to enable individuals to translate accomplishments into economic opportunity. But what is a blockchain?

Introduction to Blockchains for Educators is the first in a series of videos intended to introduce the technology behind blockchains and provide information for education stakeholders on how to understand concepts of trust, value, privacy, and identity. This video series will introduce and begin to…

Office of Ed Tech

The Office of Educational Technology (OET) provides leadership for maximizing technology's contribution to improving education at all levels.

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