White House Launches "Digital Promise" Initiative The new national center will work with researchers, entrepreneurs, and schools to identify and spur breakthrough learning technologies, determine quickly what's working and what's not, and transform today's fragmented learning technology market. Announced on September 16, Digital Promise is a national center created by Congress with bipartisan support to advance technologies for the transformation of teaching and learning. It will receive startup funds from the Department of Education as well as the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and be overseen by board appointed by Secretary Duncan based on recommendations from the House of Representatives and United States Senate. To realize the potential of learning technology, Digital Promise will work with educators and leading researchers, technology firms, and entrepreneurs on three key challenges: Identifying Breakthrough Technologies: The center will begin its work by partnering with technology firms and researchers to map the R&D landscape, identifying opportunities for breakthroughs in learning from cradle through a career. Learning faster what's working and what's not: Digital Promise will work with researchers and entrepreneurs to develop new approaches for rapidly evaluating new products. Transforming the market for learning technologies: Digital Promise will work with school districts and entrepreneurs on issues related to a fragmented market, limited R&D funding, and other factors that have hindered private sector investment in ed tech innovation. “Digital Promise is a unique partnership that will bring everyone together — educators, entrepreneurs, and researchers — to use technology to help students learn and teachers teach,” said President Obama. “There’s no silver bullet when it comes to education, but technology can be a powerful tool, and Digital Promise will help us make the most of it.” In addition to introducing the inaugural board members, Secretary Duncan made several related announcements, including $15 million in new awards from the National Science Foundation to support research that is developing next-generation learning environments. Announcements by private-sector partners included: an initiative by schools and school districts to improve educational outcomes through the wider use of effective teaching and learning technologies; the launch of a new national alliance of top education-policy researchers focused on improving outcomes among the Nation’s disadvantaged children; and a number of new challenges and prizes for the development of video games and other forms of digital entertainment that spur learning and interest in science, math, and engineering. To Learn More: visit www.digitalpromise.org or download the White House’s Digital Promise Fact Sheet.
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