(1) Maintaining a reasonable balance in the resources allocated among the customary diverse uses of technology in the public school and higher education systems, while allowing flexibility to address unanticipated priority needs and unusual local circumstances and ensuring efficient and equitable use of technology at all levels from primary school through higher education, including vocational and adult education;
(2) Providing for uniformity in technological hardware and software standards and procedures to achieve interoperability between the public school and higher education systems to the extent that the uniformity is considered prudent for reducing acquisition cost, avoiding duplication, promoting expeditious repair and maintenance and facilitating user training, while allowing flexibility for local innovations and options when the objectives relating to uniformity are reasonably met;
(3) Preserving the integrity of governance, administration, standards and accountability for technology within the public school and higher education systems, respectively, while encouraging collaborative service delivery and infrastructure investments with other entities that will reduce cost, avoid duplication or improve services, particularly with respect to other entities such as the educational broadcasting system, public libraries and other governmental agencies with compatible technology interests;
(4) Improving the long-term ability of the state to efficiently manage and direct the resources available for technology in the public school and higher education systems to establish appropriate infrastructure that ensures, to the extent practicable, a sustainable, cost-effective and transparent migration to new technology platforms;
(5) Fostering closer communication between faculty, students and administrators and promoting the collaboration of schools, libraries, researchers, community members, state agencies, organizations, business and industry, post-secondary institutions and public virtual learning environments to meet the needs of all learners; and
(6) Creating and maintaining compatible and secure technology systems that enhance the efficient operation of the education systems.
(b) The following are strategies that the Governor's Advisory Council for Educational Technology must address in the educational technology strategic plan. Unless specifically identified otherwise, each strategy shall apply to public education, higher education or both, as appropriate:
(1) The strategy for using technology in the public school and higher education systems consistent with the findings, intent and purpose of this article and other uses considered necessary to improve student performance and progress. In addition, these uses may include:
(A) Providing for individualized instruction and accommodating a variety of learning styles of students through computer-based technology, video and other technology-based instruction;
(B) Advancing learning through alternative approaches in curriculum to integrate education, research and technology into lifelong learning strategies;
(C) Increasing student access to high quality blended distance learning curriculum using real time interactive and online distance education tools;
(D) Recognizing that information literacy is a fundamental competency for lifelong learning and information literacy is incorporated into the curricula of higher education and the workplace; and
(E) Improving teaching and learning and the ability to increase student achievement by meeting individual student needs;
(2) The strategy for allocating the resources available and developing the capacity necessary to achieve the purposes addressed in the plan. The strategy shall:
(A) Allow for reasonable flexibility for county boards and regional education service agencies to receive assistance with the development and implementation of technological solutions designed to improve performance, enrich the curriculum and increase student access to high-level courses;
(B) Allow for reasonable flexibility for county boards, regional education service agencies and institutional boards of governors to implement technological solutions that address local priorities consistent with achieving the major objectives set forth in the education technology strategic plan; and
(C) Use the most cost-effective alternative allowable pursuant to section six of this article for expending funds for technology acquisition and implementation consistent with the goals of the plan;
(D) Encourage development by the private sector of technologies and applications appropriate for education; and
(E) Encourage the pursuit of funding through grants, gifts, donations or any other source for uses related to education technology;
(3) For public education, the strategy for using technology to increase and maintain equity in the array and quality of educational offerings, expand the curriculum, deliver high-quality professional development and strengthen professional qualifications among the counties notwithstanding circumstances of geography, population density and proximity to traditional teacher preparation;
(4) For public education, the strategy for developing and using the capacity of the public school system to implement, support and maintain technology in the public schools through the allocation of funds either directly or through contractual agreements with county boards and regional education service agencies for labor, materials and other costs associated with the installation, set-up, internet hook-up, wiring, repair and maintenance of technology in the public schools and state institutions of higher education;
(5) The strategy for ensuring that the capabilities and capacities of the technology infrastructure within the state and its various regions is adequate for acceptable performance of the technology being implemented in the public schools and the state institutions of higher education, for developing the necessary capabilities and capacities or for pursuing alternative solutions;
(6) The strategy for maximizing student access to learning tools and resources at all times including before and after school or class, in the evenings, on weekends and holidays, and for public education, noninstructional days and during vacations for student use for homework, remedial work, independent learning, career planning and adult basic education;
(7) The strategy for improving the efficiency and productivity of administrators;
(8) The strategy for taking advantage of bulk purchasing abilities to the maximum extent feasible. This may include, but is not limited to:
(A) A method of recording all technology purchases across both the public education system and the higher education system;
(B) Combining the purchasing power of the public education system and the higher education system with the purchasing power of other state entities or all state entities; and
(C) A method of allowing public education and higher education to purchase from competitively bid contracts initiated through the southern regional education board educational technology cooperative and the American TelEdCommunications Alliance; and
(9) A strategy for allowing any other flexibility that is determined to be needed for the effective use of technology in public education and higher education.
(c) Nothing in this section may be construed to conflict with a state higher education institution's mission as set forth in its compact.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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