Karen Cator, a vocal advocate for the use of technology in education and a familiar face at virtually every major ed-tech conference or event in the past four years, said in a recent email interview that she will be stepping down sometime in 2013 from her post as the director of educational technology for the U.S. Department of Education.
Cator is a passionate advocate for more effective use of technology by schools, and a believer that evaluating the impact of technology based only on test scores is an oversimplified way of determining its effectiveness. Beyond that, she has encouraged schools to do a better job putting ongoing professional-development programs in place to help teachers learn how to integrate technology into learning.
Cator’s term in the Education Department has centered largely around priorities outlined in the first National Education Technology Plan, released by her office in 2010, which called for not only more infrastructure and hardware for schools, but also more personalized learning, better data, and content tools for teachers that are easier to use.
To that end, during her tenure, the Education Department launched the Learning Registry, which aims to help teachers find, remix, and reuse content. In addition, the technology plan opened the door for government officials to collaborate with industry leaders, which took shape at the end of September in two different initiatives.
No word yet on who might replace Cator.
A version of this article appeared in the February 06, 2013 edition of Digital Directions as Karen Cator To Step Down as U.S. Ed-Tech Chief