Top education and policy leaders talked about the importance of a technology-infused education during a Digital Town Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
As part of the second annual Digital Learning Day, the Alliance for Excellent Education hosted the town hall to further discussion about technology in education. The live simulcast gave government and education leaders a chance to share what they're seeing in the education technology field.
Government leaders including former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and U.S. Rep. George Miller, Calif., participated in the town hall.
Technology can knock down the barriers of time that have stood in the way of learning, said Wise, the president of the Alliance for Excellent Education. That means students can learn 24/7 rather than just in class.
"We've got to move from being technology optional to technology essential," Wise said.
One way that schools are knocking down those time barriers is through cyberlearning. Quakertown Community School District in Bucks County, Penn., wants its students to be connected on weekends and nights, sick days and snow days through online learning, said Tom Murray, director of technology and cybereducation.
"We don't want learning to start and to stop with the school bells," Murray said. "We want learning to be constant and continuous all week and all year long."
Learning should also be personalized using technology, said Congressman Miller, the senior Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Educators can customize teaching for each student based on the digital assessment feedback they receive in real-time. And students can work at their own speed.
Instead of being humiliated in front of their classmates for not grasping a concept, students can continue to work at understanding it on a computing device until they get it.
"The wonderful thing about technology is it's not judgmental," Miller said.
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