New Jersey Department of Education

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Educational Technology

Technology Planning for Digital Learning



The overarching outcome of the LEA Technology Planning for Digital Learning process is to be a reflective tool on how the LEA can systemically transform instruction through the development or enhancement of effective implementation of digital learning.  Effective implementation can improve student academic achievement, digital literacy, and the administration of online assessments.  In addition, we know that non-cognitive competencies enable students to "thrive in an increasingly complex world".  Technology can be used to develop and evaluate these "soft skills".5

This planning document will also identify ways to support LEA stakeholders including students, teachers, parents/guardians and administrators.  Resources are included throughout the document to assist in providing a clear process for planning.


  • This planning guide is voluntary for LEAs.  Technology plans are no longer required by state or federal statutes, but it is strongly recommended that districts create and follow technology plans, in order to meet the technology demands of digital learning and PARCC assessments. 
  • We strongly recommend using this guide because it is aligned to the federal and state laws, policies and initiatives.  It would behoove LEAs to consider using this planning tool to achieve long-term technology-related goals.
  • The LEA's Technology Plan for Digital Learning that will be developed in Section 4 of this guidance (referred to as "The Plan" in this document) supports Standard 8.0, comprised of 8.1 Ed Tech and 8.2 Technology Education, Engineering, Design, and Computational Thinking - Programming and the implementation of the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS), and online assessments.
  • For the purposes of this document, "district" refers to any public LEA, Charter School or Renaissance School in NJ.
  • For the purposes of this document, PARCC technology readiness is a component of digital learning readiness.
  • The Plan focuses on planning at the school level, not only the district level.
  • The Plan may be submitted in any format that will effectively address the questions, or as required by the district's County Office of Education.
  • Professional Development is referenced as Professional Learning.
  • We strongly recommend that NJTRAx Digital Learning surveys be taken by LEA staff in order to generate reports that provide information on the district's digital learning readiness.  These NJ tools are used to inform the decisions made in the technology planning for digital learning process.  Contact your district NJTRAx master user for information regarding NJTRAx Digital Learning surveys and reports.
  • Equitable access for students covers three areas:
    • students are able to use the Internet and devices across the school day in the instructional setting;
    • the instructional environment (chairs, tables, lighting, etc.) provides all students a comfortable area to work and participate in all activities;
    • similar or the same technical functionality as that in the instructional environment is available for students outside of the school day, also referred to as the "digital use divide"6 or "homework gap", where homework requires Internet access by students who do not have Internet access OR are not allowed to use the Internet at home.7


There are many components of effective planning for the use of technology within an LEA.  In reflecting on the areas below, it is expected that the items are currently in place or in the process of being in place in every LEA in NJ.  The technology planning for digital learning process will move the LEA beyond implementing the items noted below.

  • LEAs are expected to have aligned across content curricula to Standard 8.0 (which is 8.1 and 8.2) by fall 2015.
  • The goals included in The Plan are aligned to and support students meeting Standard 8.0 indicators.  
  • NJTRAx PARCC Technology Readiness database is updated.
  • Resources are available for teachers that reflect scientifically-based research and promising practices focused on improving student achievement.
  • The development and utilization of innovative strategies for the delivery of specialized or rigorous academic courses and curricula through the use of technology are encouraged by the administration.   All students have access to take online PARCC and/or DLM assessments. 
  • Policies and procedures related to maintenance of hardware, software, infrastructure and security are in place and documented for all to review.
  • Policies for accessing equipment and resources are in place and documented for all to review.
  • Policies (in existence or pending) are available that determine or monitor how technologies are to be used by students, staff and community members.  They cover the expectations of use of technology and access to resources. These policies cover after-hours or extra-curricular activities involving technology resources.
  • Classroom technology management for the teacher is focused on learning rather than troubleshooting technology issues.  Adequate technical support is available to the classroom by technical (IT staff) and non-technical people (students, parents, volunteers - "how to" sheets may be available to help troubleshoot and resolve issues.)
  • Professional learning opportunities are available for administrators and teachers specifically for the purpose of increasing effective integration of technology into instruction.  This should also be tied to the School and District Professional Development Plan. 
  • The LEA's Technology Plan for Digital Learning is reviewed and updated on a yearly basis by a diverse group of stakeholders from the LEA community.  See Appendix C for a list of stakeholders.

Technology Planning For Digital Learning Process - General Overview


For A. and B. consider:


District and School Level Infrastructure (connectivity, facilities), Technical Support and Policies

District and Building Culture for Technology Infusion

Curriculum Alignment to Standard 8.0--consider TPCK, Innovation, UDL, SAMR,

Daggett System


Professional Learning

Transformational Budgeting

For D. consider the following cyclical process:For D. consider the following cyclical process:

(See Appendix I for a more detailed graphic)

About this Site

  • There are two parts to Technology Planning for Digital Learning: District Level & School Level.  Each part has guided questions in one of two categories: Basic Expectations which is an emerging digital learning environment and Expansion Considerations which are found in a digital learning environment.
  • The questions are intended as guidance in creating or enhancing digital learning in all schools.  The submitted Technology Plan for Digital Learning (developed in section four of this document) should provide an overview of the focus and work by the district over the next three years. 
  • It is expected that the submitted Technology Plan for Digital Learning (developed in section four of this document) will reflect responses to the questions from the Basic Expectation sections, as a minimum.  Districts are encouraged to provide a wider view of their district by including their responses to the Expansion Considerations questions, if applicable.  All Basic questions are found in Appendix B.
  • The district could consider identifying specific schools to focus efforts for effective digital learning over the next three years (September 2016-June 2019) and expanding to the remaining schools after 2019 if unable to do so during 2016-2019.
  • The district could use one or more of the sample planning templates in Appendix D, E or F (or any other format) to illustrate the overview of the three-year Technology Plan for Digital Learning.

Submission Process

  • Submit the Technology Plan for Digital Learning Components Checklist in Appendix A that lists all of the components of the Plan.  The checklist is an aid to the district that ensures all necessary components of the plan are submitted.
  • Submit the Stakeholder Form in Appendix C with the printed and signed name of each person on the planning committee, and their title.  Signatures are required by the school principal, a teacher, parent/guardian, and person responsible for coordinating school-based technology infusion (i.e., technology coordinator).  Invite the community, educators, students, parents/guardians to participate early and often in planning.  All stakeholders should feel that they are accountable for the success of the plan.
  • Save the completed planning template (from Appendix D, E or F, or any other format) that illustrates the overview of the three-year Technology Plan for Digital Learning for each of the schools impacted over the next three years.  Use as many forms as needed. 
  • Save the plan using the following naming convention:  county code-district code-district name-2016 Tech Plan.
  •  Submit the Technology Plan for Digital Learning to your County Office of Education according to their established submission process.