Department Hosts Mega-Event on Educational Technologies and Student Learning
Research, programs and products for early childhood reading and literacy highlighted
Archived Information

May 7, 2009
Contact: David Thomas
(202) 401-1576

Enhancing education with creative technology could be the catch phrase for today's daylong, mega-event. Participants and partners will attend policy briefings, lively exhibits, and roundtable discussions on the effects of educational technologies on student learning.

"Today's activities will allow us to share with decision makers how our children, particularly children from low-income families, are benefiting from these programs and products and how our grants are being used to support this work," said Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Office of Innovation and Improvement. "This early research underscores the payoff the investment in education technology can have."

Technologies & Children: Megabytes for Learning, kicks off with a policy briefing titled "Rebooting Reading Education with New Technologies," moves on to the "Street Fair," with 23 exhibits, and ends with a research colloquium on what the research says about teaching reading and developing literacy skills for young children through digital media.

The briefing will include presenters and panelists from the Department's Technology in Education Program, Alabama Public Television, Pacific Resources in Education and Learning, Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Chris Dede and the University of Michigan's Susan Neuman, among several other renown educators involved in using interactive educational technologies to improve student learning. The briefing will explore how TV, games, and other new media are being used to enhance reading and literacy education.

The "Street Fair" will showcase 23 lively and engaging exhibits that will provide state educational technology directors from across the country, educators, students, policy makers and Department staff with hands-on and visual experiences of products and resources developed under the Ready to Learn, Star Schools, and Ready to Teach Programs, as well as the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education's Enhancing Education through Technology program.

The research colloquium will provide a proactive panel presentation and roundtable discussion on the research findings, which demonstrate how innovative programming and practices increase student achievement for low-income children in pre-school and kindergarten through third grade and provide teachers with strategies that work.

"The Department has supported technology programs since Big Bird arrived on Sesame Street and has provided millions of dollars in grants to further support early childhood education," Shelton said. "We've also developed a complementary research agenda to find out what works and how to make it work better. That's what today's event is about. We knew we wanted to share our findings in a unique and compelling way and think this three-pronged approach will work well for our audiences."

On display will be educational video games, children's TV programs, and online professional development resources. Some of the exhibitors include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Word World Learning Box and walkabouts; Super Why! Reading Buddies and walkabouts; and E-Learning for Educators from Alabama Public Television.

For a complete agenda and related material, contact Cheryl Garnette, Director, Technology in Education Programs, Office of Innovation and Improvement, at



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Last Modified: 05/11/2009