“The future of American education undoubtedly includes a laptop on every desk and universal internet access in every home,” Secretary Duncan said earlier today at SXSWedu (South by Southwest Education), in Austin, Texas. “But a great teacher at the front of the classroom will still make the biggest difference in the lives of our students.”
Duncan addressed a large audience of educators and tech entrepreneurs at the annual conference that focuses on innovations in learning. The Secretary spoke to the importance of technology in education, and noted that the Department of Education remains committed to doing “all we can at the federal level to support the use of technology.”
In 2010, ED issued a comprehensive Education Technology Plan to support the broader trends in education today. Elements of the plan include:
- Aligning learning materials with the college- and career-ready standards that states have developed and adopted.
- Engaging students by tailoring learning to their needs and interests and providing real-time information to teachers about student learning.
- Connecting teachers with their peers so they can share learning materials and classroom strategies.
- Building the infrastructure to support this learning environment and using technology to become more productive.
Duncan explained that technology has become essential to learning, not optional. He also reminded the audience that even if Beethoven would have had a computer, “the Fifth Symphony would still have come from the mysterious gray matter between his ears.”
Following Duncan’s speech at SXSWedu, he held a college affordability town hall at Austin Community College (watch here), and will hold a town hall with San Antonio’s Hispanic community later this evening.