Today, NextGenWeb attended a Brookings event titled “Leveraging Technology to Reclaim American Educational Leadership,” where leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors identified ways to best utilize technology to revolutionize education in the US.
One of the panels discussed incentives to innovate as well as technology adoption, featuring the CEO of ePals.com, Ed Fish, Executive Director of the Educational Leadership AT&T Foundation, Marilyn Reznick, and Director of the Program of Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, Paul Peterson.
Mr. Fish opened up the discussion by noting that K through 12 schools can benefit most from technology. He believes technology allows the ability to host collaboration and in turn saves taxpayers money. Policy efforts that remove technology adoption barriers will help states and schools use new technology models that better engage students, teachers and parents, making the educational experience efficient and compelling.
Ms. Reznick believes private sector investment in education is important to ensure children are competitive in the global marketplace. She would like to see companies engage more with schools and teachers to define talents and skills needed in the workforce as well as map out solutions and best practices.
Mr. Peterson also agrees the catalyst that will move education forward is major investment from the private sector. He used the Middlebury College/K12 Inc. collaboration as a best practice–two entities working together to supply online foreign-language courses that enable college-ready students. Peterson also noted that the abundant broadband capacity of the US is a vital key to driving digital learning.
Colleges like MIT have incorporated an online component to their courses. Nearly 85 percent are taught virtually, increasing the quality of the instruction due to transparency. Online education is certainly growing in popularity and use because of its lower cost and ability to provide courses that traditional schools simply cannot.