Last Monday, at a Capitol Hill briefing co-sponsored by Sens. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Michael Bennet of Colorado, a panel of experts described some of the innovative learning technologies being brought to bear in public education and ways in which the Obama Administration’s proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education (ARPA-ED) could speed the development and deployment of these valuable technologies.
ARPA-ED is modeled after DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which catalyzed the development of world-changing technologies such as the Internet and GPS. ARPA-ED would similarly focus on transformative research and development, pursuing projects such as personalized digital tutors that are as effective as the best human tutors to support teachers as they focus on their students; courses that improve the more students use them; and new ways to assess student progress that are as compelling and fun as video games.
Technology today holds the potential to transform learning and teaching, ensuring America’s leadership in educational performance while creating new enterprises that can push the Nation to the forefront of a growing $5+ trillion economic sector.
To learn more about the recent briefing and what the US Department of Education is doing in the arena of educational technology, see this recent blog by Jim Shelton, the Department’s Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.