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Obama's Ed-Tech Agenda

This Business Week article is a good read for those of you wondering what exactly President-elect Barack Obama is planning to do for ed tech once he takes office.

The story talks quite a bit about President-elect Barack Obama's plans to provide computers with Internet access to schools as part of the economic stimulus plan that is currently being constructed. The details of the plan are still pretty sketchy, but based on what he's said at press conferences recently, the tech community will probably be seeing a big jump in the number of jobs available in that sector because of the plan, partly due to projects like broadband expansion to homes and schools.

You can read more about what Obama has in store for the ed-tech community in a transcript of his weekly radio address on Dec. 6. In it, he promises to put more computers into schools and increase broadband access for homes and schools.

The article also talks about the challenges that schools face as they begin equipping classrooms with computers.

In many schools, PCs have failed to aid students' learning or improve test scores, or equip them with the analysis and communications skills that today's workplace demands, according to studies. The problems include a reliance on paper lesson plans that don't factor in technology, and inadequate teacher training and technical support. Also at fault, say educators, is American classrooms' occupation with teaching kids strategies for raising standardized test scores to meet provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Without well-trained staff that seamlessly incorporate technology into the classroom, the computers get pushed to the back of the class with minimal use, says the article. And giving students assignments that are essentially worksheets on the computer doesn't even begin to tap into the advantages that having a computer can bring to education, experts say.

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