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Congressional Hearing: Subcommittee Examines Advances in Education Technology
posted by: Ruthie | February 15, 2013, 06:27 PM   

Yesterday, AAE staff was in attendance for the Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee hearing about the improvements technological innovations are making for K-12 education.

Based on the rapid expansion of virtual schools (28 states now offer virtual options), blended learning, and advancements in technology, a growing number of state and local leaders are working to redefine education in the 21st century. As Digital learning Now Executive Director John Bailey explained to the panel, "A one-size-fits-all environment just doesn't fit anymore."

Witness testimony focused on new tech-driven models proving successful nationwide. Panelists agreed that teachers and school leaders must incorporate real world technology so that students can be competitive in global economy. This shift in education will not only affect students and teachers, but also families and communities.

John Bailey advocated digital learning as a tool that provides equal access to education and insures high quality education. He compared the redesign of schools and the renewed focus on student customization as analogous to modern music options. "There are all types of bundles available for students learning opportunities, just like there is iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc."

Preston Smith, cofounder of Rocketship Education explained his organization's mission to eliminate the achievement gap in his lifetime, serve low-income districts in San Jose, California, and integrate technology to insure students learn in optimal environment. His innovative program customizes content and uses data from online programs to help teachers target students.

Similarly, Holly Sagues, chief policy officer of Florida Virtual School, spoke about Florida's rapidly expanding network of online learning. "Faculty has dramatically increased, and we're now delivering more that 120 courses." FLVS also offers digital supplementations, including a mobile app and game-based SAT feature.

Click here to watch the full hearing.

How has technology revolutionized your classroom?

Comment below.

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