Federal

Ed Technology Gets Hearing on Capitol Hill

June 17, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

On Capitol Hill yesterday, teacher Lisa Short schooled members of the House education committee on technology’s potential for boosting learning, and then she gave them a pop quiz to make sure they were paying attention.

All the testimony is on the committee’s YouTube channel, and here is a video of Short during her presentation:

The science teacher from Gaithersburg Middle School in suburban Maryland asked the members to use handheld clicker devices to register their answers to a question about the percentage of the nation’s schools that utilize the kind of interactive whiteboards that have been effective for her students. The dozen or so members all answered correctly, just 16 percent. Then the teacher told them that 7 in 10 schools in the United Kingdom are equipped with such products.

I covered the hearing on Twitter and you can read my tweets at @kmanzo. But the message from Short and other panelists, including Aneesh Chopra, the chief technology officer at the White House Office for Science and Technology, was that if U.S. students are going to be prepared for success in the global workplace they need access to effective tech tools and high-quality, tech-enhanced content.

Chairman George Miller, D-Calif., agreed:

“It seems to me we’re in a bit of a race here,” he said in his closing comments. “If we do not adapt, [by finding effective ways of] embedding technology in the schoolday, we’re going to lose.”

After the hearing there was a showcase in the foyer for vendors to demonstrate their products. I caught up with some ed-tech experts there to get their perspectives on the hearing. For Mary Ann Wolf, the executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association, or SEDTA, the takeaways from the hearing were about the need for professional development, the potential for using technology to assess student progress, and the demand for research to identify best practices and the most effective ways for using tech tools to boost student learning.

I was also able to talk with Chopra about the federal commitment to technology for improving education. He said that despite the proposed cuts to the EETT program in President Obama’s budget, the additional $650 million in economic stimulus money will help move ed-tech efforts forward.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal What the Federal 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Actually Says
The bill would restrict federal funds for lessons on LGBTQ identities. The outcome of this week's election could revive its prospects.
4 min read
Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in front of the Florida State Capitol on March 7, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida House Republicans advanced a bill, dubbed by opponents as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, to forbid discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, rejecting criticism from Democrats who said the proposal demonizes LGBTQ people.
Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in Tallahassee on March 7, 2022. Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law was a model for a federal bill introduced last month.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal Fed's Education Research Board Is Back. Here's Why That Matters
Defunct for years, the National Board for Education Sciences has new members and new priorities.
2 min read
Image of a conference table.
vasabii/iStock/Getty
Federal Opinion NAEP Needs to Be Kept at Arm’s Length From Politics
It’s in all our interests to ensure NAEP releases are buffered from political considerations and walled off from political appointees.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal Feds Emphasize Legal Protections for Pregnant or Recently Pregnant Students, Employees
The U.S. Department of Education has released a new resource summary related to pregnancy discrimination in schools.
2 min read
Young girl checking her pregnancy test, sitting on beige couch at home.
iStock/Getty Images Plus