White House Official: More Tech Key To Education

Career College Central summary:

  • Innovation has been slow to reach classrooms across America in part because the federal government spends very little to support basic research on education technology, a senior White House official said this week. Less than one percent — perhaps even less than a tenth of one percent — of the federal education budget is spent on research and development, said Kumar Garg, an assistant director for learning and innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
  • Garg also noted that education is a tough market for technology companies, because it’s fragmented across thousands of school districts and tens of thousands of schools. To encourage more private-sector innovation, the Education Department is working on a “developer’s toolkit” — a handbook for entrepreneurs interested in creating technology specifically for the education market, said Richard Culatta, director of the department’s Office of Education Technology.
  • The toolkit will explain what teachers and students truly need, how apps are integrated into classrooms, and what research has shown about the most effective uses of technology. Many apps function by collecting huge amounts of information about student users as they play educational games or work through problems. The data allow the developers to tailor the software to best fit kids’ needs. But the idea of the private sector scooping up so much information about children can spook parents and teachers.

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