Last October, Barak Obama promised that if he were elected, he would create a new cabinet-level position. Saying that the United States has not done nearly enough to tap into technology and its potential for creating new jobs, Obama proposed creating the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Now, six months later, this promise has come to fruition. During his weekly address on April 18, President Obama announced that Aneesh Chopra will be the nation’s first CTO.
Currently serving as Secretary of Technology for the state of Virginia, Chopra’s new position comes with three goals that support the new administration’s top priorities. First, he is charged with promoting use of technology to support job creation. Second, Chopra is to explore ways technology use can be leveraged to reduce health care costs. Finally, he is to focus on use of technology to increase national security.
The business world sees this as a welcome step toward updating and expanding a national infrastructure that recently has received little attention. This sector also views this appointment as a commitment to returning the U.S. to a leadership role in technology-related advances worldwide. But what do educators think about this new position and the impact Mr. Chopra might have on bringing schools into the Digital Age?
Whether it happens in K-12 grades, post-secondary programs, or on-the-job training courses, every one of the three goals listed above must include an education component in order to be successfully implemented. How will education leaders take advantage of this fact to leverage resources and launch innovative programs designed to help the new CTO meet his goals? What related conversations are taking place in your school, district, or region? Share your ideas here.