What Is Digital Promise?


What Is Digital Promise?

Coggno Inc. | Sep, 22 2011

Earlier this month, President Obama gave his “jobs” speech and stressed the importance of education.

Last week, the White House announced the creation of Digital Promise, a new, non-profit national center that will “support a comprehensive research and development program to harness the increasing capacity of advanced information and digital technologies to improve all levels of learning and education, formal and informal, in order to provide Americans with the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the global economy.”

Bipartisan Support and Prominent Leadership

Digital Promise has the support of both sides of the chamber, along with some pretty heavy hitters from the education and technology sectors.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appointed, by recommendation of Congress, a group of industry leaders who will steer the ship. They include John Morgridge (Chairman Emeritus of Cisco), Larry Grossman (former President of NBC) and Eamon Kelly (President Emeritus of Tulane University) to name a few. The group will endeavor to “work with leading educators, researchers, technology firms, and entrepreneurs on a number of key challenges.

Three Key Challenges

According to the Digital Promise Fact Sheet, the three main challenges are:

  • Identifying Breakthrough Technologies: developing educational software that will transform learning from the “cradle through a career”.
  • Learning Faster What’s Working and What’s Not: development of new approaches that will rapidly determine what works and what doesn’t.
  • Transforming the Market for Learning Technologies: Update school district procurement systems so new learning technology and private sector innovations can be effectively utilized.

What Does This Mean for Online Learning?

Digital Promise is in its infancy, but we can hope that it will not be a “No Child Left Behind” scenario that will only focus on pushing kids through the school system. The possibilities for e-learning software are endless, and if a government agency can shine a light on how valuable it is, the future will certainly be much brighter.


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