"Technology is core and essential to the strategies we are using to reform education." That was the message from both Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement at the United States Department of Education, and Aneesh Chopra, chief technology officer in the White House.
Sitting comfortably in overstuffed chairs on stage at a packed meeting of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), these two top Obama administration representatives spoke and responded to questions for 45 minutes about the importance of technology in education.
Chopra said that technology in education is less about hardware and software and more about what we teach, the method in which we teach it, and professional development and support for educators. He emphasized the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and the need for greater access to digital content. Whenever he gets a chance, Chopra has his iPod plugged in his ears tapping lectures from MIT, Stanford, and other sources. It is about having a constant "learning environment," he said.
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