Back-to-School Bus Tour Panel with Arne Duncan

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion with Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, and Andrew Ng, co-founder of Coursera. The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, moderated the conversation about education, technology and the future of learning.

This conversation was the kick off of the Back-to-School Bus Tour that is traveling from coast to coast to highlight successes in education. This first discussion in Redwood City at Sequoia High School focused on topics related to:

  • Sharing strategies for using technology to personalize and differentiate learning
  • Identifying the biggest challenges facing teachers in the classroom
  • Exploring the role of online learning 
  • Designing a blended learning model that values the teacher
  • Cultivating a Personal Learning Network (PLN) using social media and online resources
  • Teaching STEM and valuing computer science as a creative course of study
  • Describing the “ideal” classroom of the future

As a teacher, it is exciting to think about the potential of technology to engage students in active learning both in the classroom and online. That said, I want to make sure the role of the teacher remains highly valued and respected. My message was that technology cannot replace teachers but instead has the potential to empower teachers.

When Arne Duncan spoke about the challenges in education, such as high drop out rates and low college completion rates, I said “I don’t think technology is going to save education. I think great teachers with great tools are going to save education.” Too often the discussion centers on the technology. I want the conversation to focus on the educators and how they can leverage this technology to engage students in higher-order thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration.

It was a privilege and honor to be asked to represent educators in this discussion. It is so important for educators to be involved in conversations about the future of education and what technology integration should look like in the classroom.

 If you are interested in viewing our conversation about education, click here The conversation begins 44 minutes into the recording.

I welcome thoughts, comments and questions!

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