In his January 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama expounded upon his goals to out-innovate other nations through ground-breaking education initiatives leading to increased college completion rates. Part of the President’s strategy includes strengthening educational technology research and development, and his FY2012 budget proposes adding a new agency, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education (ARPA-ED), to press forward with such initiatives.
The Department of Education states that “ARPA-ED will aggressively pursue technological breakthroughs that have the potential to transform teaching and learning the way the Internet, GPS, and robotics… have transformed commerce, travel, warfare and the way we live our daily lives.” Based on the innovative Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ARPA-ED will focus on funding transformative projects in the areas of teaching and learning. Some projects to be pursued include:
- Digital tutors as effective personal tutors
- Courses that improve the more students use them
- Educational software as compelling as the best videogame
Aside from improving K-12 and postsecondary learning, the Department also suggests that projects will deliver fast-paced learning opportunities to help retrain displaced workers for workforce reentry.
To read more, visit the Department of Education’s Winning the Education Future: The Role of ARPA-ED.