In an interview with eSchool News, Karen Cator, Director of Education Technology in the U.S. Department of Education, reviewed a new program. The Effective Teaching and Learning from a Complete Education program would consolidate funds from several grant programs into this new initiative. â€œThis new initiative would â€˜include a focus on integrating technology into instruction and using technology to drive improvements in teaching and learning throughout all content areas.â€ Ms. Cator says that federal officials recognize and understand the need to continue to support state and local leadership capacity when it comes to education technology. She has a desire to continue funding e-Rate to bring broadband access to high poverty areas. â€œWe want to make sure there are ways to fund the infrastructure for learning inside the schools,â€œ she said.
This focus Is exciting. Yesterday, as I watched my 10-year old grandson use his dadâ€™s iPhone to play a guitar â€œHappy Birthdayâ€ song with his cousins and brother singing along, I wondered about the digital divide and children of poverty having access compared to their peers. They were singing to their 90-year old great-grandfather. After the song ended my father said, â€œNathaniel, I heard some of your guitar but I didnâ€™t see the guitar. Where was it?â€œ Yes, there is another divide out there â€“ older folks not understanding or willing to ignore it. How would you describe yourself?