Secretary Duncan Announces Education Department’s First-Ever Guide for Ed Tech Developers

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Secretary Duncan Announces Education Department’s First-Ever Guide for Ed Tech Developers

April 7, 2015

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the first-ever guide for developers, startups and entrepreneurs from the department’s Office of Educational Technology (OET).

The Ed Tech Developer’s Guide: A Primer for Developers, Startups and Entrepreneurs is a free guide that addresses key questions about the education ecosystem and highlights critical needs and opportunities to develop digital tools and apps for learning.  Written with input from knowledgeable educators, developers, and researchers who were willing to share what they have learned, the guide is designed to help entrepreneurs apply technology in smart ways to solve persistent problems in education.

“Technology makes it possible for us to create a different dynamic between a teacher and a classroom full of students. It can open up limitless new ways to engage kids, support teachers and bring parents into the learning process,” Duncan said, addressing the ASU+GSV Summit 2015 in Scottsdale. “We need tools designed to help students discover who they are and what they care about, and tools that create portals to a larger world that, in the past, would have remained out of reach for far too many students.”

Richard Culatta, director of educational technology, added, “The demand for high-quality educational apps is increasing as communities become more connected, devices become more affordable, and teachers and parents are looking for new ways to use technology to engage students.  Yet, many existing solutions don’t address the most urgent needs in education. Opportunities abound for software designers and developers to create impactful tools for teachers, school leaders, students, and their families.”

Education tools are needed to improve mastery of academic skills, foster and measure non-cognitive skills, embed formative assessments, engage families, support college and career exploration, provide job-embedded professional development, improve educator productivity, increase access for all students and close achievement gaps.

“All students have the right to an equitable education,” Culatta said. “This right should not be affected by geographic location, family income, or any other demographic factor. Ed tech tools have the potential to close the opportunity gap by providing access to rich educational experiences not available in all communities, for example, virtual labs and field trips, advanced coursework, access to field experts, and opportunities to interact with students around the world.”

The guide also stresses the importance for developers and entrepreneurs to work with educators at every stage of development to make the best possible educational tools and apps.
For additional information visit OET’s new page for developers: