Sunday, June 21, 2009

Castle Statement: Hearing on "The Future of Learning: How Technology Is Transforming Public Schools"

Giving students access to technology is a great thing. What needs to be avoided though is using technology as a solution to ignore capacity issues rather than it being value-added.


Also check out the written testimony.

Education & Labor Republican Press
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16, 2009

CONTACT: Alexa Marrero
(202) 225-4527

Opening Statement
of Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE)
Full Committee
Hearing on “The Future of Learning: How Technology Is Transforming
Public Schools”

Good morning and thank you, Chairman
Miller, for holding today’s hearing. I am pleased the Committee is exploring the timely issue of how technology is transforming our nation’s public schools.

More often, people are using different technologies to gather and disseminate information. I believe that in today’s technologically-driven world, states and school districts throughout the country have the opportunity to use these new technologies to improve academic achievement and help America’s children compete in a world where new technology is the norm, not a novelty.

In many instances, this is already happening in schools today. The International Society for Technology in Education and the Consortium for School Networking have studied the impact of technology in schools.

They have found that technology can help students improve in reading, writing, and math.

Technology also can improve a student’s critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills.

Technology can help children with disabilities interact with their peers and better understand the subject matter. Adaptive technology can also provide accommodations for the assessment process, giving these children the opportunity to learn and achieve – and demonstrate their success – just like anyone else in the class.

Children in remote and rural areas benefit from technology, too. They are no longer limited to the few books available down the road at the county library. Through technology, they now have access to all the libraries in the world, right from their homes.

And for children in rural communities whose schools are not making adequate yearly progress, technology opens up a new world of tutoring options that were not available before the era of the Internet and interactive online learning.

Technology makes more parental options available through Supplemental Educational Services under NCLB to students who might not otherwise have access to them simply because of geography.

But technology helps more than the students.

Studies have shown that administrators can use technology to improve efficiency, productivity, and decision making at their schools.

Technology also helps teachers meet professional requirements so they are qualified in their subjects. They also can use networks to learn and share the latest teaching techniques.

Even parents can benefit. Through Internet-based programs, they can monitor their children’s attendance, homework, and performance.

Technology is a wonderful and necessary addition to schools – but it hasn’t come for free.

Over the years, Congress has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to schools to acquire and use technology. And that’s before the additional funding provided in the recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In fact, in Fiscal Year 2009, the Education Technology State Grant Program received approximately $270 million.

Technology can be a transformative force in our classrooms, and I am a strong supporter of innovation and creativity.

However, as we examine new technologies and hear from this distinguished panel of witnesses on how new technologies may be incorporated into the classroom to improve student achievement, we must remain mindful of these trying economic times and ensure all federal funds for education technology serve a purpose, and improve opportunities for students.

I look forward to learning about what’s happening in classrooms at the cutting edge and hopefully exposing other educators to the types of tools and resources that are

With that, I welcome our witnesses today.
I look forward to hearing your testimony.

Thank you, Chairman Miller. I yield back.

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