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Posts tagged ‘United States’

China vs. The US- Meeting Students’ Technology Needs

Today I’d like to share this cool infographic that I found showing some of the differences between China and the US, and their attempts to integrate technology in the classroom.  Pretty interesting!  Take a look!

China vs. The U.S.: Meeting Students’ Technology Needs

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Interactive Whiteboards and Student Achievement- Positive Results

Today I’d like to share a study I found that explores the effects of teachers’ use of interactive whiteboards on students’ reading/language arts and mathematics performance.  The complete results are pretty lengthy so I’m only posting a few of the sections… the entire study can be found here.  It’s pretty interesting!  Take a look!

Interactive Whiteboards and Student Achievement

Karen Swan-University of Illinois at Springfield

Abstract:

This study explored the effects of teachers’ use of interactive whiteboards on students’ reading/language arts and mathematics performance. Reading/language arts and mathematics achievement test scores of all students in the third through eighth grades in a small urban school district in northern Ohio were compared between students whose teachers used interactive whiteboards for instruction and those whose teachers did not. A statistically significant but not meaningful positive main effect of whiteboard use on mathematics achievement was found. A statistically significant main effect on reading achievement was not found, although the reading/language arts scores of students whose teachers used whiteboards were slightly higher than those of students whose teachers did not use them. In addition, statistically significant and meaningful interactions between whiteboard use and grade levels were found, leading to a more careful look at differences in the ways teachers employed whiteboards in their instruction. A within-group comparison of such usage between teachers whose students scored above the mean on standardized tests and those whose students scored at or below the mean revealed that teachers of high-scoring students used interactive whiteboards more frequently and in more creative and constructivist ways than did teachers whose students performed at or below the mean. The results suggest that the use of interactive whiteboards can enhance student learning of mathematics and reading/language arts when teachers use them in a manner that takes advantage of their unique capabilities.

Introduction:

Interactive whiteboards are a relatively new instructional technology that is being used in many schools as a replacement for the traditional chalk and blackboard. Many educators see these electronic boards as a versatile digital tool that can help them in increasing student achievement levels. The research reported on in this chapter takes a look at a small city school district in Ohio (United States) that has invested heavily in interactive whiteboards in the hope that their integration in its classrooms will improve student scores on the mandatory state achievement tests. More specifically, the objective of this study was to explore the effects of teachers’ use of interactive whiteboards on student performance in mathematics and reading/language arts.

Discussion:  

The results of this exploratory study show a small statistical difference in achievement between students whose teachers used interactive whiteboards for reading/language arts and mathematics instruction and students whose teachers did not use them. The overall differences were quite small and not really meaningful, and are statistically significant only in mathematics. However, statistically significant and meaningful differences between groups were found at specific grade levels – at the fourth and fifth grade levels in mathematics, and at the fifth and eighth grade levels in reading/language arts. These differences,combined with significant interactions between grade level and whiteboard use, prompted us to explore the possibility that differences in the ways in which teachers used interactive whiteboards made a difference in their effectiveness. The results of these comparisons suggest that they do.When teachers were grouped by their students’ mathematics and reading/language arts performance on the state achievement tests, teachers whose students scored above the district mean on one or both assessments were found to use the whiteboards more frequently (almost every day) than the teachers whose students scored at or below the means on these tests. More importantly, the teachers of high-achieving students used their whiteboards qualitatively differently from teachers in the comparison group.Teachers in the former group used whiteboards in a more student-centered manner and primarily to support the visualization of concepts, while teachers in the latter group used whiteboards in a more teacher-centered manner and primarily for presentation and motivation purposes. Thus it may be that certain kinds of teaching strategies resonate more with the particular affordances of interactive whiteboards to better enhance learning.

Conclusion:

This study explored the effects of teachers’ uses of interactive whiteboards on student performance in reading/language arts and mathematics. Reading/language arts and mathematics achievement test scores of all students in the third through eighth grades in a small urban school district in northern Ohio were compared between students whose teachers used interactive whiteboards for instruction and those whose teachers did not. Statistically significant and meaningful interactions between whiteboard use and grade levels were found, leading to a more careful look at differences in the ways in which whiteboard-using teachers employed them in their instruction. A within-group comparison of such usage between teachers whose students scored above the mean on standardized tests and those whose students scored at or below the mean revealed that the teachers of high-scoring students used interactive whiteboards more frequently and in more creative and constructivist ways than did teachers whose students performed at or below the mean. In sum, the results from our study show that the use of interactive whiteboards can make a difference in academic achievement, but that such a difference seems dependent on how teachers use them. As more and more classrooms, schools, and school districts are acquiring digital technologies like interactive whiteboards, this is perhaps our most important finding. For teachers and schools to make good use of what can be a considerable investment, effective uses of interactive whiteboards should be more thoroughly and robustly explored.

Poll Finds That Teachers and Parents Support Technology in the Classroom

Today I’d like to share the results of a poll completed by the Leading Education by Advancing Digital Commission.  The poll surveyed 883 parents and 812 public school K-12 teachers, and found that the vast majority of both parents and teachers “support greater use of technology in education, and believe that school systems should do more to improve access”.  I was more than surprised by a few of the poll’s findings.  For instance, of  the teachers polled, “82 percent feel they are not receiving the necessary training to use technology to its fullest potential in the classroom”.  I think it’s such a shame that percentage is so high.  I also find it disappointing that the United States “is somewhat or far behind the curve when it comes to American public schools’ use of technology in education”.  I guess we have to start somewhere though, so it’s polls like these that should make us open up our eyes and realize change is needed.

Technology In Schools: Poll Finds K-12 Teachers And Parents Support Greater Digital Use In The Classroom

recent poll by the Leading Education by Advancing Digital Commission has found that the vast majority of K-12 teachers and parents support greater use of technology in education, and believe that school systems should do more to improve access.

The poll, which surveyed 883 parents and 812 public K-12 teachers, determined that 96 percent of teachers and 91 percent of parents think that applying technology to teaching and learning is important to the education of American students today. More than half of both audiences also believe that technology will play a much bigger role in educating students during the next decade.

Responses also indicated that the country is somewhat or far behind the curve when it comes to American public schools’ use of technology in education, especially when compared to other parts of the economy.

When it comes to investing in resources for students, 89 percent of teachers and 76 percent of parents would rather spend $200 per pupil on an Internet-connected device, than $200 for new science textbooks for each student.

However, teacher responses also highlighted potential problems associated with the implementation of said technology; 82 percent feel they are not receiving the necessary training to use technology to its fullest potential in the classroom.

According to the poll’s results, an overwhelming percentage of both parents and teachers believe that home access to high-speed Internet provides students with a significant advantage in the classroom. On that note, low-income parents place a greater emphasis on successfully integrating technology into their children’s education, seemingly because they are less likely to have access to broadband Internet at home.

More of the poll’s findings:

Teachers and parents believe that technology can play a very helpful role in addressing many of the most important goals for improving education today, particularly with regard to these items:

  • Providing more individualized and flexible learning
  • Offering more hands-on learning opportunities
  • Helping students become more engaged in their own learning
  • Making closer connections between the classroom and the real world
  • Exposing students to experts outside the classroom and different perspectives on issues

Furthermore, both parties acknowledge the degree to which technology can better enable teachers to provide faster feedback to students.

While the use of technology in the classroom has been on the rise across the country, low-income schools in particular have found themselves on the wrong end of the digital divide.

“It’s an obstacle,” Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology in the U.S. Department of Education, said in June. “We do need to figure out ways that students, regardless of Zip code, regardless of their parents’ income level, have access” to technology inside and outside of schools.

This article was found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/poll-finds-k-12-teachers-_n_1871017.html.

China is Ahead of the U.S. and Germany in Use of Educational Technology, According to Opinion Poll by Dell

Today I am sharing pieces of an article and an infographic that give the results of a poll that was conducted by Dell regarding technology in education.  Nearly 1,600 interviews were completed with students, teachers and parents in China, Germany and the U.S.  I found the results to be really interesting.  Take a look!

Highlights from the Dell Education Poll

  • Who is using technology at school most and for what? Chinese students in major cities say they spend more time using technology in school than American and German students. In China cities, respondents say technology is integrated into more curriculum areas than in the U.S. or Germany where respondents say technology is most often used for research. Without this integration, technology in the classroom can be a distraction. According to Dell, this highlights an opportunity to more effectively and broadly integrate technology into learning in the U.S. and Germany.
  • Are teachers knowledgeable about technology? Many teachers in the U.S. and Germany said they don’t receive enough professional development opportunities focused on technology. Their students agree. Only 40 percent of students in the U.S. and 26 percent in Germany say their teachers know how to use technology better than they do. This suggests an opportunity for increasing and improving professional development opportunities for teachers to more effectively use technology in learning in and out of the classroom.
  • Is there a place for social media in the classroom? Social media is playing an increasing role in the classroom according to respondents. One in four students say they access social media in the classroom on a daily basis. However, most teachers in the U.S. and Germany say they never access social media in the classroom. Chinese respondents are the most positive about the prospect of using social media in the classroom. Approximately six in 10 U.S. respondents say they disapprove of students using social media in the classroom to share what they are learning, while most respondents in China say they would approve of social media for this purpose. This demonstrates a growing need to find a role for social media in learning.
  • How is technology bridging between home, school and life? Just half of students say they interact with their school online outside of school. Most students in Germany indicate they do not interact with their school online, while a majority of Chinese students say they do. However, students report that they use technology at home for school work more than any other activity, indicating an opportunity for more collaboration between home and school.
  • Are parents willing to pay more so their children can have access to technology? Most respondents said parents should receive stipends to ensure their children have up to date technology for educational purposes. Additionally, parents across Germany, China and the U.S. said they would be willing to pay for the technology their children use in the classroom.

Innovation in education

This information was found at http://content.dell.com/us/en/corp/d/secure/innovation-in-education.aspx.

The Evolution of Educational Technology

So, I’ve just discovered this cool website with these awesome infographics.  It’s http://visual.ly/.  Anyway, I thought the one below was pretty cool, so I decided it needed to be shared.  It describes the evolution of educational technology, starting in 1635 with the first public school being founded in the U.S., and ends in 2011 with NYC public schools ordering over 2000 iPads for teachers and students.  Take a look!

This infographic was found at http://visual.ly/evolution-educational-technology.

education

Interactive Whiteboards Benefit Autistic Students

It’s amazing to me the different benefits that interactive whiteboards can provide in the classroom.  Compared with the old green chalkboard of my youth, the interactive whiteboard is incredible!  The following article explains how the interactive whiteboard can be a captivating, engaging, educational tool for autistic students.  It has been proven that interactive whiteboards assist autistic students with social learning in a group setting.  Awesome!

As always, remember that eBeam technology is a leader in interactive whiteboards.  Check out our website for all kinds of eBeam information and great prices!  http://www.ebeamrocks.com/

The following article was found at http://www.districtadministration.com/article/whiteboards-engage-autistic-students-social-learning.

Whiteboards Engage Autistic Students in Social Learning

Although touchscreen tablets work well as personalized tools, they cannot be a replacement for interactive whiteboards, which help autistic students with social learning in a group setting.
By:
District Administration, March 2012

Since the launch of the Apple iPad, educators have touted the tool’s ability to engage special education students with autism spectrum disorder through unique, customizable applications and stimulating touchscreen technology. Many still feel, however, that although touchscreen tablets work well as personalized tools, they cannot be a replacement for interactive whiteboards, which help autistic students with social learning in a group setting.

Whiteboards began making headway in the K12 arena in 2006, and their presence in classrooms has increased exponentially ever since.

“The boards, when combined with pedagogy, improve student behavior and engagement and reduce teacher stress,” says Lisa DeRoy, education advocate with SMART Technologies. Although there are more than a dozen whiteboard manufacturers that cater to schools in the United States—such as SMART, Luidia, eInstruction, InFocus, DYMO/ Mimio and Promethean—many offer similar features to supplement analytical classroom discussion, including graphics, audio, visual support, linguistic tools, drawing capabilities and speech bubbles. Students are engaged in what they’re learning, rather than just watching.

While they also serve general education students, interactive whiteboards can captivate autistic students, who struggle with attention deficit disorder and reciprocal relationships on varying scales. “Interactive whiteboards’ multisensory tools allow students to attend through visual means,” says Kathleen McClaskey, president of EdTech Associates and a member at large of ISTE SETSIG, a special interest group on special education technology.

Whiteboards also aid in mainstreaming special education students in general education classrooms. “Sadly, students with special needs often become isolated from their peers,” says DeRoy. “Mainstream teachers are also special needs teachers. They have a classroom with a smorgasbord of student needs they have to accommodate.” McClaskey believes that the iPad works well as a personal tool but that it doesn’t further the fundamental goals of learning in a group as whiteboards do. “Kids develop a respect for each other,” says McClaskey. “They take turns and increase their attention span by nearly an hour through the visual components.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Talks Technology in Education

In a speech given earlier this month, Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, described the many advantages of technology in education to a large Texas audience.  I found it to be very informative, and also a little encouraging.  I believe that the United States is moving in the right direction in its efforts to provide adequate technology to students across our nation.  Please take a look!

I found the following at http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/new-platform-learning.

The New Platform for Learning

March 8, 2012

I have to confess my wife and two children think it’s pretty funny that I have been invited to talk about technology at a cutting-edge conference for innovators and entrepreneurs.

It’s an understatement to say that I grew up in a technologically-challenged household. We didn’t even have a TV when I was a kid. We were not what you would call “early-adopters.”

But I’ve changed—we all know what happens to dinosaurs—and the reason I’ve changed is that I’ve seen the tremendous transformational potential of technology in education. I really believe that technology is a game-changer in the field of education—a game-changer we desperately need to both improve achievement for all and increase equity for children and communities who have been historically underserved.

Technology is making us so much more efficient. It allows teachers to personalize education for more and more students. Teachers and students can track progress in real time and not have to guess as to what is actually being learned.

Technology offers children the opportunity to work at their own pace, pursue their own interests and passions, and provides access to more information through a cell phone than I could find as a child in an entire library.

Technology enables working adults to learn on their own schedule. It eliminates geographical barriers to knowledge.

Technology is replacing the paper and pencil, the textbook, the chalk board and the globe in the corner of the room. It will soon replace the bubble test on which so many local accountability systems are based.

It’s no exaggeration to say that technology is the new platform for learning. Technology isn’t an option that schools may or may not choose for their kids. Technological competency is a requirement for entry into the global economy—and the faster we embrace it—the more we maintain and secure our economic leadership in the 21st century.

Fortunately, there are progressive educators in school systems all across America who are finding bold and creative new ways to use technology in the classroom.
This innovation is happening in big cities, small towns, and even in entire states across the nation.

Just this week, Mark Edwards, the visionary superintendent from Mooresville, North Carolina came to our department to meet with our management team. Three years ago, he gave every student in 4th through 12th grade a laptop. Almost overnight they saw gains in school attendance—new forms of collaboration between teachers and students—and ultimately gains in reading, math and graduation rates.

Rather than the kind of whole school instruction that has been so common in public education for more than a century—his students now work in small groups and independently pursue areas of interest.

Mark describes his teachers as “roaming conductors”—circulating around the room reviewing work, challenging students, and answering questions—one-on-one.

Parents can track their children’s progress every night from home—and that’s one reason that the community strongly supported an increase in local taxes to keep the program going. And the cost was not prohibitive—about $225 dollars per student per year. Mooreville is near the bottom—100th of 115 school districts in North Carolina in terms of school funding. They actually have less to spend on each student compared to almost all other districts—they simply spend it smarter.

For a decade now, the State of Maine has also given a laptop to every middle school student. The Open High School in Utah has completely switched to digital content, and they are in the process of providing every student in grades 6-12 with a laptop.

In Florida, close to 100,000 students attend virtual schools. Idaho is the first state in the country to require students to get at least two high school credits through on-line courses, and they are phasing in laptops for all high school students and teachers. What can access to a laptop mean to a teacher? When I visited Joplin, Missouri—a community that has made an amazing comeback from a devastating tornado—one young girl told me she had never liked school before and didn’t want to come back following the tornado, until she found out that she would be given her own laptop.

Finally, when I visited the School of One in New York, I saw up to 80 students sitting in a math class working in small groups, large groups or as individuals. In this big, unstructured-looking class, you could hear a pin drop—everyone was engaged. Several teachers roam the classroom offering individualized support to the kids. We gave them a grant so they can continue this work and expand it.

We’re doing much more to encourage technology in the classroom. In 2010, we issued a comprehensive Education Technology Plan to support the broader trends in education today:

  • Aligning learning materials with the college and career-ready standards that states have voluntarily developed and adopted.
  • Engaging students by tailoring learning to their individual needs and interests and providing real-time information to teachers, parents and students themselves about student learning.
  • Connecting teachers with their peers so they can share learning materials and classroom strategies.
  • And building the infrastructure to support this learning environment, and using technology to become more productive.

Karen Cator, who is a real star on our team, led the development of this plan, and she spoke here yesterday. She served in public education for many years and then spent time at Apple. I hope you have an opportunity to talk with her because she is eager to bring your ideas to the larger education community. She is helping lead the country where we need to be.

The list of panels at this conference is evidence of both the ambition and creativity of this movement to bring technology into the classroom. It focused on assessment and digital ethics. You are talking about supporting teenage entrepreneurs and using interactive art to enhance math education. Some of you are using game design to improve STEM education—the potential there is here.

And here’s a panel that is bound to raise a few eyebrows: “Supersizing the Classroom—3000 Students and Beyond.” Now, I must say that I was relieved to see that this was not about pre-school but is in fact about how to improve those dreaded survey courses in college. Colleges across the country are both reducing costs and improving student outcomes in those introductory classes through the use of technology.

Clearly, there is a lot of creative thinking happening here, and I just want to say that we in the education community are hungry for your ideas. While the education sector has moved more slowly than many of us would have liked it, this area, this world is changing. I see that and sense that everywhere I go. Every educator wants what’s best for her students—we just have to persevere and push through some of the real barriers to entry.

K-12 education is a $650 billion dollar industry in America. Higher education puts the education sector well over a trillion dollars. This is opportunity to do well, and to do a lot of good. Unlike in many other nations, however, America education is decentralized.

We have 15,000 school districts and 95,000 public schools independently deciding how to teach and in many cases what to teach.

That’s one of the strengths of our system and a source of innovation. But decentralization can also complicate the spread of technology. I know that some of you have encountered bureaucratic obstacles in your efforts to work with school systems. Please don’t be discouraged. Kahn Academy, by creating great content and delivering it directly to young people at home, is forcing schools to change both how students learn and teachers teach in school.

School leaders today are under a lot of pressure to cope with diminishing resources and rising expectations. They don’t always see how investments in technology can save money down the road.

Thankfully, we have partnership like one with former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who are pushing states to have more tech-friendly policies.

So—just keep doing what you’re doing—and we will do all we can at the federal level to support the use of technology in education. Let me tell you some of the things we are doing already.

First of all, President Obama is deeply committed to STEM education. His goal is to create an education system that produces more people like you—with the creativity and technical skills—not only to invent new educational programs and software—but to help us lead in every other field.

We’ve created a Learning Registry to help teachers and parents discover resources on-line and learn from each other. Here in Texas alone, there are almost 900,000 users of their education portal. We have made technology a priority in competitive funding programs like our $4 billion dollar Race to the Top initiative.

And, as a nation, we have invested heavily over the last 20 years. The E-Rate program generated billions of dollars to upgrade technology infrastructure and today—virtually every school in America has some form of internet access.

Through the Recovery Act across agencies—including the Commerce Department, Department of Agriculture and the Federal Communications Commission—we have expanded broadband services to literally thousands of additional communities with the plan to connect them all by 2015. Now the FCC, which has been a great partner, is working with providers to support access to low-income children in their homes to help close the digital divide.

Insuring educational equity is at the heart of the federal role in education. That is why Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Act in 1965. Today, our two biggest pots of money target low-income students and students with disabilities—and both of them allow for investments in technology.

In Higher Education, our biggest investment is in Pell grants so low-income students can fulfill their dreams and go to college. We’ve gone from about 6 million Pell grants to 9 million Pell grants just in the last three years, above a 50% increase, and our community colleges are bursting at the seams. The only way to serve more students is by leveraging technology in innovative ways.

In so many ways, technology is a powerful force for educational equity. That fight—to give every child regardless of zip code or family background—access to a world-class education is what drives so many of us every day. Technology can level the playing field instead of tilting it against low-income, minority and rural students—who may not have laptops and iPhones at home. It gives a boost to students with disabilities and students learning to speak English. It opens doors for all students as long as we make sure that the students most in need have access.

And it helps our teachers and leaders, especially those working in our toughest schools with our most disadvantaged students, by providing them with effective lesson plans and teaching strategies that help them educate and motivate each child. We have to deprivatize public education, breakdown our hardworking teachers’ sense of isolation in their individual classrooms and open up a much better world of tools, supports, and resources for them.

Technology gives teachers the kind of professional development they have been asking for—individualized to their unique interests and needs. Today, DC and Tennessee are both using technology to create customized teacher training programs.

It gives teachers the information they need to figure out what their students need. Unfortunately, assessment in education is behind every other field from medicine to consumer behavior to sports, politics and entertainment. Everyone is getting data in real time and using it to make decisions. Education needs to stop always being the laggard, step up!

Ultimately, technology should make a teacher’s jobs easier, more marketable, and more fun—and that will make them more effective.

We talked to some teachers in a school system that just brought in new technology two months ago and they were already raving about how much time it saves.

They said their students are much more engaged. Young people see adults working in front of computers. They know that’s the future. The more that our classrooms connect to the real world, the more likely that our kids will take school seriously.

A new Canadian study confirms what we already know intuitively: when technology actively engages students it has a dramatic and positive impact on student performance.

Superintendent Edwards from Mooresville, North Carolina also talked about the sense of discovery that his students feel—that they can go on-line and talk to someone in another state or another country. My 10 year-old daughter loved the opportunity for her class to skype with a class of students in Mali.

With just one click, children go way beyond the walls of their classroom and the pages of their textbooks and the barriers in their community.

Technology-driven learning empowers students and gives them control of the content. It challenges them to think critically and make decisions—the same kinds of challenges you and I face in our work every day.

And college students who are struggling with the rising costs of college can get more and more of their material through open education resources saving thousands of dollars over the course of their college career.

Along with the Department of Labor, we have a new partnership between community colleges and the private sector to fund the creation of new curriculum for growing fields like health care and green energy—and all of the curriculum that is created will be open-source and publicly available.

I know that in this setting I’m preaching to the choir. Entrepreneurs like you are way ahead of the curve. People like Sal Kahn who has made over 2700 learning videos available and delivered to over 190 million visitors for free. Products like the ones you all are showcasing here hold the potential to transform classrooms. University partners like MIT, Yale, Tufts and the University of California are doing the same.

Learning technology can be a major export industry for America. But don’t think that other countries aren’t thinking about it. Places like China, India, Brazil and Israel are all pushing hard to bring technology into the classroom and create the products that will shape the future of education.

American entrepreneurs like you—in partnerships with the kind of teachers we have in this room today—need to own and lead the field—just as we have in so many other fields. Those of you leading start-ups are job-makers, not just job seekers. I love your creativity and bravery.

So I’m here today—not just to encourage you—but to plead with you—to invest in education and in the technologies that support learning—to push us hard and push the field hard to move in this direction—and to be our full partner in the broader effort to rebuild the American economy with education as the foundation. We have to educate our way to a better economy and we can’t get there without you.

Now—I also want to leave you with one final thought because this issue too often gets sidetracked into a silly debate over whether we need computers or teachers—when everyone knows we need both. Great teachers with access to great technology transform children’s life choices.

Next week, thousands of America’s finest musicians—guitar players, drummers, horn players and singers—will flood the City of Austin in an annual celebration of cutting-edge music and creativity. Young people from colleges and communities across America will come to watch, talk, dance, and have fun.

They’ll have cell phones, iPads, laptops, and other tools to communicate, socialize, and gather. They’ll see it live and watch on-line. The performers will chronicle their every move on social media.

Musicians today use technology in countless ways to get their shot at stardom here at South by Southwest. They download music and create band profiles on the web. They record, share and sell their music without ever leaving their bedrooms. Technology corrects their mistakes in the studio.

In fact, the music industry and other art forms like film and photography are so completely infused with technology today—and dependent on it—that it is hard to imagine them without it. Today, technology pretty much does everything for the musician except for one fundamental thing:

It can’t write a song. We have yet to invent a technology that will produce “Born to Run” or “Let it Be.”

Even if Beethoven had a computer, the Fifth Symphony would still have come from that mysterious gray matter between his ears—and it’s important to remember that as we think about the role technology plays in education.

It’s a tool to help children learn and to help teachers teach. It’s a tool to help parents stay abreast of what their children are learning. It’s a tool to hold ourselves and each other accountable—so that we can get better, smarter and faster.

At the end of the day—education and technology are about people and ideas. Why is Facebook so popular? Because it brings people together.

Why is technology so exciting? Because it tells us so much about ourselves and about others.

Why are we all here in Austin?

You could have found a lot of this information without coming to South by Southwest. But you’re here because there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Nothing can replace the conversation that leads to inspiration or the handshake that leads to a partnership.

The future of American education undoubtedly includes a laptop on every desk and universal Internet access in every home. It definitely includes more on-line learning.

But a great teacher at the front of the classroom will still make the biggest difference in the lives of our students. All of us here can point to that great teacher who inspired us and shaped our lives.

So I urge you today to make teachers your partners and your advocates. Their voice carries a long, long way. They are the ones who will take your product from the drawing board to the classroom. They are the only ones who can make this work.

Working together, entrepreneurs and educators, like the amazing combined talent here in this room, can create a world that we can’t even imagine today.

Our kids are begging for it. They can’t wait. America can’t wait. You can and will make it happen.

Thank you.