While both the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Education have released separate plans regarding the use of technology in education—the National Broadband Plan and the National Education Technology Plan, respectively—the two entities have teamed up to create a new commission to comprehensively transition U.S. schools into the digital era. The Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission was created in March and will be led by key stakeholders in education to create an outline for schools for how they can implement technology and find funding.
“The issue of how to effectively utilize technology in our education system has been an important priority for the FCC and the Department of Education for a long time,” says James Steyer, Common Sense Media CEO and co-chair of the LEAD Commission. The commission will also be headed up by President Lee Bollinger of Columbia University, TPG Capital co-founder James Coulter, and former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
The impending blueprint, which according to Steyer is expected to be released in late 2012, will include a database of current efforts, key trends, cost implications and obstacles to adoption of existing technologies such as iPads and mobile devices. Additionally, it will evaluate how technology has been a catalyst for improvement in the private sector and what that implies for how technology and digital content could positively impact the classroom. Moreover, the blueprint is intended to help all schools transition into the digital era. Many are still lagging behind due to funding.
“With the blueprint,” says Steyer, “the commission hopes the larger education and technology community will see the need for technology in learning and meet the needs of all students and teachers.”