Of the People: Live from a Digital Classroom with Education Secretary Arne Duncan


President Barack Obama and Sec. of Education Arne Duncan, right, take questions during a group discussion with 6th grade students at Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, VA. January 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

On February 26, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will participate in Discovery Education and the White House’s “Of the People” webinar series. This special event is part of the second annual Future@Now forum to discuss the transition from traditional classrooms to digital classrooms.

You can register now to watch the event live on Wednesday, February 26 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Joining from a classroom in Washington, D.C., Secretary Duncan will explore the digital transition firsthand and answer questions from a student about how the Department of Education supports classrooms around the country and why education is the foundation of our country’s future success.

The “Of the People” series offers middle and high school students unique access to White House staff and Obama Administration officials in a series of 30-minute virtual events broadcast live from the White House and open to all classrooms nationwide.

You can tune in on February 26 at 4:30 p.m. ET — and watch upcoming installments in this series — on Discovery Education’s website. In the coming months, webinars will address topics that range from community service to climate change and from foreign policy to science and technology. A complete archive of all virtual field trip sessions will be available at www.discoveryeducation.com.

Kori Schulman is director of online engagement for the White House Office of Digital Strategy.


  1. From one of my freshmen:
    Dear Arne Duncan,

    To most students, school isn’t about learning anymore, it is about getting good grades. I speak for many students when I say that I couldn’t tell you anything I have learned in school all year, yet I am passing all of my classes. Something is wrong with that. All we are taught in school is how to memorize useless information and regurgitate it to make it appear as if we’ve “learned” something, when really we have not. Students cheat on tests, quizzes and exams because grades are now more important than learning. . The current education system makes kids believe that they aren’t smart enough because they don’t pass a test, when really all tests do anymore is quiz your memory. Math, reading and writing are all very important, I do not deny this. But let’s be realistic here, when am I ever going to use things like algebra and calculus in the real world? Every year the same classes just get harder in order to keep us busy. We should have classes on scams, police brutality, how to save electricity and other things that will actually be useful to us in our later years of life.

    Another problem with our education system is how school makes students feel. The average high school student in 2012 had the same anxiety levels as people in mental hospitals in the 1950s. This shows how education has changed so drastically in the last 60 years. I know dozens of students who self-harm due to the stress caused the hours and hours of homework they receive each night. No student wants to wake up at six A.M. every morning to go to a place where they feel stupid and judged. We have taken the wonderful concept of learning and discovering new things and ruined it with the atmosphere of judgment and suppression of creativity. Something needs to be done to make learning what it once was; valued.

  2. The webinar should have been scheduled during the school day for middle school and high school interaction.

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