It appears that the internal planning team has already established a solid list of topics for the next Tech@State forum; however, I would like to propose an additional topic for future consideration: Education Reform.
The current administration has taken great strides to improve education through an ambitious reform agenda leveraging new technologies to improve access and quality. The initiatives set forth over the past several months have fostered collaboration between government agencies, education institutions and the private companies seeking to achieve the common goal of advancing education reform.
In the face of the recent economic crisis our country has recognized the need to reinvent our education system in order to provide all citizens access to quality learning and development opportunities. Today, the need for access to education extends beyond traditionally aged primary, secondary and post-secondary students to include working adults. In order to remain competitive more working adults will pursue post-secondary degrees and continuing education certificate programs.
Across the federal government, several agencies have initiated competitive grant programs to advance education reform. Agencies leading this effort include the Department of Education, the Department of Labor and the U.S. Agency for International Development. These competitive grant programs embrace the concept of open government by welcoming all participants meeting grant criteria, encouraging public-private collaboration and providing access to all proposed solutions received during the application period. As a result, key stakeholders are provided with proven, scalable solutions.
The Tech@State topic of “Education Reform” will provide leaders, new innovators, government personnel and others the opportunity to discuss the use of technology to improve teaching, learning and research.
Below is a starter list of potential subtopics to be addressed during the proposed forum:
- Open Data: Tracking learner performance, identifying instructional best practices.
- Open Course Ware: Improving access to online instruction, peer-reviewed courses.
- Open Source Software: Customized learning environments, rapid development and adoption of educational applications.
- Learner Demographics/Understanding Non-Traditional Learners: Assessing technological competencies, identifying technological expectations.
To provide the most value to this forum it is important to include multiple perspectives from government, academia and industry. I have a very long wish list of presenters to recommend but I am more interested to know who others would like to have involved in the proposed Education Reform forum, please make your comments below.
Note: A big thank you to the Tech@State team for extending an opportunity for group members to provide topic recommendations for upcoming forums. I hope that my response provides some valuable information to your team and would be happy to provide additional assistance, if needed.