[Text below from a Discovery Education Press Release]
The House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing to examine how technology, innovative education tools, and digital content are transforming and improving education in America. Scott Kinney, Vice President of Outreach and Professional Development for Discovery Education, served as one of seven panelists who testified as to how technology and digital content can improve American education in the future.
Moderated by Chairman George Miller of California, the panel included administrators and educators from various public school districts, the Chief Technology Officer for the White House Office for Science and Technology, and a student from North Carolina.
Citing recent research, Kinney illustrated that students use technology profusely at home, while most are unable to use that same technology in the classroom. Today’s tech-savvy students function by consuming, processing, and learning from media, in many forms simultaneously. Kinney asked the committee to envision an educational system that supported the use of technology in the classroom, therefore, supporting how students learn naturally.
Kinney also highlighted forward-thinking communities and states for their efforts to transform education using technology, including Indianapolis Public Schools for their efforts to integrate digital content into their curriculum, California for its recent initiative to replace textbooks with digital resources, and Texas for similar pending legislation.
In addition, Kinney discussed how professional development is critical to supporting future programs utilizing technology. He explained that district leaders, facilitators and teachers must receive continuous support through subsequent professional development that includes lesson and unit development, modeling, and non-punitive coaching.
With data supporting the benefits of integrating digital media into classroom instruction, Kinney argued the time is now for every level of government and school districts nationwide to accelerate their support for the use of effective digital content in schools. It is only with this continued support that today’s students will reach their full academic potential.
Following the hearing, Discovery Education participated in a special forum in the Capitol’s Rayburn Building, sponsored by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), during which the educational industry showcased the latest products and services.
To view the archived Web cast of Kinney’s testimony, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzw9vykNydE&feature=channel_page