Forget the âthree Rs.â
In a speech at an education and technology conference, White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra said the administrationâs vision for education and technology focuses on infrastructure, access and research.
While Chopraâs speech at the Consortium for School Networking focused on the future, as with many such forward-thinking initiatives, the question of funding quickly came up.
Chopra said âhe understood the angst expressed within the ed-tech communityâ as the White House mulls shifting funding away from the Enhancing Education Through Technology program, Education Week reported.
Instead, Chopra touted the Federal Communication Commissionâs E-rate program, which provides $10 million in mobile learning grants; ARPA-ED, a $90 million initiative to spur high-tech innovation projects; and the Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiativeâs $100 million fund to research the use of mobile devices in the classroom.
These three alternatives would not only provide funding but would encourage entrepreneurial investment in ed-tech, he said.
“The challenge is how to engage an ecosystem that includes entrepreneurs as problem solvers,” Chopra said in the speech, “so we don’t have to solve them all on our own backs.”
And because of the tight economic times, itâs difficult for the White House to continue funding the old system (the EETT) as well as its big-ticket new initiatives, Education Week reported.
âThe difficulties of our budget environment are such that we’re making changes,â Chopra said. “We’ve made our decision in the administration, and we stand by those decisions. We look forward to moving forward working together.”