I read this in the new eschool news. It's interesting to hear a candidate talk about what we talk about all the time--1:1, collaborate, whiteboards, technology-based curricula. Talk the talk? Walk the walk? I guess we shall see.

Speaking at Stebbins High School near Dayton, Ohio, on Sept. 9, Obama picked up this theme, noting that U.S. students are being outperformed by their peers in other countries on international benchmarks.

"Without a workforce trained in math, science and technology, and the other skills of the 21st century, our companies will innovate less, our economy will grow less, and our nation will be less competitive. If we want to out-compete the world tomorrow, we must out-educate the world today," Obama said.

He added: "While technology has transformed just about every aspect of our lives--from the way we travel, to the way we communicate, to the way we look after our health--one of the places where we've failed to seize its full potential is in the classroom.

"Imagine a future where our children are more motivated because they aren't just learning on blackboards, but on new whiteboards with digital touch screens; where every student in a classroom has a laptop at [his or her] desk; where [students] don't just do book reports but design PowerPoint presentations; where they don't just write papers, but they build web sites; where research isn't done just by taking a book out of the library, but by eMailing experts in the field; and where teachers are less a source of knowledge than a coach for how best to use it and obtain knowledge. By fostering innovation, we can help make sure every school in America is a school of the future.

"And that's what we're going to do when I'm president. We will help schools integrate technology into their curriculum, so we can make sure public school students are fluent in the digital language of the 21st-century economy. We'll teach our students not only math and science, but teamwork and critical thinking and communication skills, because that's how we'll make sure they're prepared for today's workplace."

The Obama campaign subsequently released more details about how it proposes to address this issue.

Obama proposes creating a $500 million matching Technology Investment Fund that would build on existing federal ed-tech programs to help ensure that technology is fully integrated throughout U.S. schools.

According to the Obama campaign, this fund would:
- Help integrate technology throughout classrooms, so innovative learning technologies such as simulations, interactive games, and intelligent tutors can help improve the quality of instruction;

- Develop better student assessments that allow teachers and parents to identify and focus on students' individual needs and talents throughout the school year;

- Create new technology-based curricula with leaders in the technology industry, so schools can create courses that develop students' technology skills through project-based learning; and

- Use technology to help teachers work collaboratively with their peers across the country and provide more personalized assistance to students.

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