On Sept. 9 the nation’s senators and their staff members were given a demonstration of technology resources at work in America’s K-12 classrooms. The day-long interactive event, “Education Technology– The Public/Private Partnership,” featured 29 leading companies and organizations.

The event, sponsored by the National Coalition for Technology Education and Training (NCTET), was intended to reinforce the importance of technology in education and to honor the work of the Senate in advancing the use of technology in education, said event organizers.

Thousands of classrooms have been transformed by a substantial investment in education technology, said David Byer, the Software Publisher Association’s vice president for government affairs. This investment has enabled schools to access hardware, software, and internet connectivity and to provide for better-trained teachers.

“Without this investment, most of the students that now benefit from education technology would have been left behind,” Byer said.

Organizers of the event said they hoped to persuade lawmakers to make the integration of education technology into learning a prominent aspect of national education policy–including the eRate program, telecommunications discounts for schools that has recently come under intense scrutiny by Congress.

Companies participating in the event include: America Online/Family Education Network, the CEO Forum on Education and Technology, Cisco Systems, IBM, and The Learning Company.