From researchers to rabble-rousers, a small band of high-impact players has had a powerful effect on technology in the nation’s schools. Some of these men and women have done great things for education, some have set schools back. But count on this: Because of the movers and shakers you’re about to meet, education technology will never be the same again.
William Kennard, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
As chairman of the federal agency that shapes telecommunications policy in the digital age, Kennard exerts a huge influence over the implementation of modern telecommunications infrastructure and internet access in schools.
A consistent theme in his leadership so far has been to ensure that all Americansno matter where they live or what special needs they may havehave access to the technologies that are driving our economy and shaping our society. Toward that end, he has lobbied hard for the eRate, and last year he fought to restore the program’s funding to $2.25 billion, the maximum allowed under the its current rules.
Kennard also has developed a reputation as a champion for competition, believing that a robust marketplace will produce better services at lower prices for schools and consumers. As FCC chairman, his leadership will go a long way in determining the outcome of potential mergers and acquisitions in the telecommunications marketplace, such as the proposed merger of industry giants MCI WorldCom and Sprint.
Kennard was sworn in as chairman of the FCC in 1997, and his term expires on June 30, 2001. A native of Los Angeles, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1981. Before becoming chairman, Kennard was the FCC’s general counsel, its principal legal advisor and representative in court.
Kate Moore, president of the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Co.
Moore took over the helm of the group responsible for administering the eRate in August 1998, when the program’s future was tenuous. Her predecessor, Ira Fishman, had resigned amid criticism from opponents of the eRate in Congress that his salary was too highjust one of many criticisms leveled at the program in its first year. Under Moore’s leadership, however, the program has gone on to flourish, distributing nearly $4 billion in discounts in two-plus years. Applications are now being taken for Year Three, which also features a streamlined process.
Henry Marockie, West Virginia superintendent of schools
During his tenure as head of the state’s schools, Marockie led a forward-looking program that had all students in grades K-6 learning basic math and reading skills with the help of computers and integrated learning system software. The program was cited by a Milken Exchange study as being responsible for a significant gain in students’ skills, as measured by standardized tests. Marockie also served on the board of directors for the Schools and Libraries Corp. in the first years of the eRate.
Jim Geringer, governor of Wyoming
Geringer’s administration is responsible for the Wyoming Equality Network, which connects all schools to the internet and will bring interactive video to all high schools by 2001. His commitment to funding technology has helped the state achieve the lowest student-to-computer ratio in the country, according to a recent Market Data Retrieval report. In July, Geringer was appointed to the new National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, which will develop a strategy to raise the quality of math and science teaching in all of the nation’s classrooms.
J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation Board of Directors
Located in Boise, Idaho, the Albertson Foundation has been the single most important factor in the state’s remarkable transformation into an educational technology leader. In 1998, the foundation donated $110 million to the state’s public schools, more than $80 million of which has been earmarked for technology programs. In one program, Idaho’s schools are eligible to receive $250,000 per district, provided they have a technology plan and a way of measuring results. The foundation’s emphasis on accountability is ensuring that its investment in technology programs will pay dividends for the state’s schools.
ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY LEADER
Sue Kamp, director of the Software and Information Industry Association’s Education Market Division
As director of the education division for the software industry’s principal trade organization, Kamp has helped the Washington, D.C.-based organization represent more than 1,500 software publishers, developers, distributors, and other companies affiliated with the educational software industry.
Perhaps most significantly, she has assumed responsibility for steering the early development of the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF), an industry-wide initiative to create a single standard for K-12 software, by serving as SIF’s acting director. Under her leadership, membership in SIF among industry players had swelled to nearly 60 at press time.
Kamp also works with the U.S. Department of Education and educational technology associations to further the integration of technology into schools. She was responsible for the development of the book “Education Software Management: A K-12 Guide to Legal Software Use,” in addition to several other published works, such as “Education Market Report: K-12, Research Report on the Effectiveness of Technology in Schools, Digital Environment, and State Technology Initiative Reports.”
She also helped develop two videos aimed at educating teachers about legal software use, “Don’t Copy that Floppy,” and “Shared Set of Values.” Kamp is an expert in the field of internet privacy and policy and how these issues apply in the educational environment.
Before joining SIIA, Kamp was a special education teacher, a professor at the University of Tulsa, a project manager at the Council for Exceptional Children, and an independent computer consultant. She is a frequently invited guest at national education conferences and often speaks on networking opportunities, copyright protection, and online content rights management.
Karen Smith, executive director of TECH CORPS
Smith recently led her organization’s launch of the “Techs 4 Schools” program, which provides technology mentors to rural or underserved school districts that need technical assistance. Prior to TECH CORPS, Smith was a classroom teacher, administrator, and the director of educational technology initiatives for the Massachusetts Software Council. She also was the primary author of “The Switched-On Classroom Technology Planning Guide,” a guidebook to helping schools develop long-range technology plans.
John Vaille, chief executive officer of the International Society for Technology in Education
As CEO of the world’s largest nonprofit professional ed-tech organization, Vaille has been instrumental in supporting the development of National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). He has served at all levels of education and was appointed by the governor to the California Board of Education’s Educational Technology Committee in 1989, where he was the principal author of the 1992 California Commissions Master Plan for Educational Technology.
Cheryl Lemke, president and chief executive of the Metiri Group
Lemke recently left her position as executive director of the Milken Exchange on Education Technology to found the Metiri Group, an independent ed-tech consulting firm. At the Milken Exchange, she authored “Technology in America’s Schools: Seven Dimensions for Gauging Progress” and helped implement several collaborative partnerships and studies of technology’s effectiveness on learning. Under her guidance, the organization became a nationally recognized leader on school technology issues.
Jane Coffey, founder and director of The Read In! program
The Read In! is a day-long reading project for K-12 students worldwide that consists of a live online chat among students, teachers, and authors (this year, it will be held May 11). Last year’s event logged more than 310,000 participants and 22 children’s and young adult authors. Coffey founded The Read In! six years ago while serving as technology support specialist for Earl Elementary School in Turlock, Calif., in an effort to promote global literacy using technology. In addition, the Read In! sponsors online chats with authors throughout the year.
Rick Bauer, chief information officer for the Hill School (Pottstown, Pa.)
The Hill School, a private boarding school for grades 9-12, is at the cutting edge of school technology, with 55 buildings connected by fiber optics, 8,000 data ports available to the 500 students who attend, and 150 faculty and staff computers, thanks largely to the groundbreaking efforts of Rick Bauer.
A renowned educator and technology proponent, Bauer has coordinated a 900-user NT-based network with an ATM infrastructure and taught the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) curriculum to students and the community through Microsoft’s Skills 2000 program.
Bauer also directs a yearly Summer Training Institute for educators and administrators who wish to gain computer skills, and he has created distance learning programs between the Hill School and schools in Australia, London, and Botswana. In addition to supporting an international learning environment, The Hill School has upstream links to Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and the University of California at Berkeley, with corporate education links to Boeing, Microsoft, Intel, and the Washington Post Company.
Besides his work at The Hill School, Bauer runs a consultancy that helps schools acquire and deploy new technology and directs SchoolTECH/21, a program creating centers of technology excellence in schools. SchoolTECH/21 is a partnership with 22 leading hardware and software manufacturersincluding Microsoft, Adobe, and Dellwhich provides technical support and equipment in exchange for featuring partners’ products in a live educational showroom.
Bauer’s writing on school technology has been published in national magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, and the Boston Globe.
Stephen Cohen, technology planner for Paterson Public Schools (N.J.)
Over the past two and a half years, Cohen has secured more than $17 million in eRate funding for his urban rust-belt district, more than $2 million in state funds, and has convinced the district to invest almost $25 million in electrical improvements and networking. The investment has paid off in a big way, making Paterson among the most sophisticated and powerful networked districts in the country, despite its relative poverty. Cohen also was instrumental in founding The Metropolitan Academy of Communication and Technology (MPACT), a high school developed in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute for Technology and Lucent, among others, and aimed at preparing inner-city students for high-tech careers.
Ken Eastwood, assistant superintendent of instruction for Oswego City School District (N.Y.)
In just a few short years, Eastwood has helped his district turn around its technology efforts to become a national model for integrating technology into the curriculum. By listening to teachers, providing superior professional development opportunities, and building a technology plan around their needs, the district has had huge success in getting its teachers to recognize the value of technology: Within one year of setting up its wide area network in 1997, more than 90 percent of Oswego’s teachers were using technology in their daily instruction.
Paula Conley, fifth-grade teacher and technology specialist at Sorensen Elem. School (Couer d’Alene, Idaho)
Conley served on the committee that researched, developed, and wrote “Connecting Curriculum and Technology,” a new guidebook for implementing ISTE’s technology standards into the curriculum while also meeting national curriculum standards. She has won various awards and honors for her efforts to promote school technology, has secured numerous grants for her school, and is a regular presenter at seminars and conferences.
Sandra Becker, technology director for the Governor Mifflin School District (Pa.)
Becker and her district have gained national recognition for building an exemplary technology plan around the district’s curriculum goals. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a Classroom Connect STAR award recipient, and last year accepted the district’s Computerworld Smithsonian Laureate Award.
Sue Collins, corporate education liason and member, White House commission on web-based education
With more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, district and state administrator, and hardware and software company executive, Collins is widely acknowledged as a long-time leader in educational technology.
Collins served as senior vice president for software maker Jostens Learning Corp. until she resigned in early November. While with Jostens, Collins oversaw the Marketing, Strategic Planning, and Professional Development Division, where she worked with schools to help educators create dynamic learning environments supported by effective technology tools and curricula.
Previously, she served as director of the North American Education Division for Compaq Computer Corp. and before that was manager of strategic initiatives for the Education Division of Apple Computer.
Collins was recently appointed by President Clinton to serve on the newly formed Web-based Education Commission, becoming one of only three presidential nominees named to the 14-person commission.
During the next six months, the commission will conduct research and hold public hearings in order to recommend an appropriate federal role in evaluating the quality of educational software products to the president and Congress.
In addition to the commission appointment, Collins serves on the Board of Directors of the national Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), the SIIA’s Government Affairs Council, and chairs the SIIA’s Education and Workforce Development Committee. She also is a staff advisor to the CEO Forum on Education and Technology, which issues annual reports assessing the nation’s progress toward integrating technology into America’s classrooms.
Steve Case, chairman and CEO of America Online
As growth of the internet accelerates, Case and America Online are leading the industry in dealing directly with issues such as integrating technology into schools and child online safety. Two philanthropic ventures, the Case Foundation and AOL Foundation, are providing millions of dollars in cash and in-kind donations to the K-12 market. A new AOL-sponsored program, called PowerUP, will help schools and community centers establish high-tech after-school programs.
Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Computer Corp.
Behind the leadership of its founder, Dell Computer has become a leader in providing computers and servers to the K-12 market. Michael Dell, who pioneered the direct-marketing approach to selling PCs, launched the company 15 years ago. In that time, sales have grown from $6 million to $23.6 billion a year, and the company is now giving Apple a run for its money in terms of sales to the K-12 market. A key to the company’s success is its relationships with customers, including personalized Premier Pages on its web site for school districts to make online purchases.
Thomas Lapping, president and CEO of JDL Technologies
With more than 17 years of management, marketing, and technical experience in educational computing and networking systems, Lapping has led the design and implementation of over 4,000 ethernet networks. Prior to founding JDL, Lapping provided K-12 networking solutions for the automation of media resources, career guidance, and other systems. He is a past winner of the Prodigy Award for community leadership in educational technology.
Roger Wagner, developer of HyperStudio and education software entrepeneur
Wagner, a former classroom teacher, is the developer of HyperStudio, the multimedia authoring tool used in thousands of schools to help students easily and effectively communicate their ideas on diskette, CD-ROM, or over the internet. During its 20-year history, the company he founded was committed to supporting teachers with a vision of how the meaningful use of technology could foster a more individual and creative learning environment for students. HyperStudio was recently acquired by Knowledge Adventure.
Douglas Van Houweling, president and CEO of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development
As head of the advanced internet project popularly known as Internet2, Van Houweling leads the development of a new-generation internet that will give schools and universitiesand eventually society at largeaccess to an internet thousands of times faster than what we are used to today.
Begun in October 1996 by 34 U.S. research universities, Internet2 today has more than 160 member universities which are working with corporate and affiliate members. The initiative has led to the creation of two super high-speed network backbones, Abilene and vBNS (very high performance Backbone Network Service). According to UCAID, Abilene allows for the transfer of 2.4 gigabits (billion bits) of data per second1,000 times faster than a T1 line.
Internet2 will allow schools and universities to take advantage of advanced research and learning applications over the web, such as digital libraries, “virtual laboratories” and collaborative research, “tele-immersion” (shared virtual reality), and high-definition television. At the eShool News school technology management conference in October, Van Houweling announced that K-12 schools can participate in the project’s early stages as well by teaming up with UCAID member universities.
While he is serving as head of UCAID, Van Houweling is on leave from his post at the University of Michigan, where he is a professor in the School of Information.
Dale Mann, professor of education at the Columbia University Teachers College, and Charol Shakeshaft, professor of education at Hofstra University
Mann and Shakeshaft led a milestone study of West Virginia’s Basic Skills/Computer Education program, called “West Virginia Story: Achievement Gains from a Statewide Comprehensive Instructional Technology Program.” Funded by the Milken Exchange on Education Technology, the study offers one of the few bodies of evidence to support concrete gains in student achievement as a result of instructional technology.
John Seely Brown, chief scientist for Xerox Corp.
As director of Xerox’s famed Palo Alto Research Center, John Seely Brown has been on the cutting edge of technology innovation for many years. A major focus of his research has been in human learning and digital culture. He is a member of the National Academy of Education, a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and has published more than 90 papers on technology innovation and individual learning.
Hank Becker, professor of education at the University of California, Irvine, and Ronald E. Anderson, professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota
Becker and Anderson are leading an ambitious 3-year study on the use of computer technologies in educational reform, called “Teaching, Learning, and Computing 1998.” Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation, the research looks at the relationship between teachers’ pedagogy (their teaching philosophy and classroom practices) and how they use computers. The study also will attempt to find out how the formal and informal organization and support structures of schools affect teachers’ pedagogy and use of technology.
Alex Waibel, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Interactive Systems Laboratories
A leader in speech recognition research, Waibel is chairman of the Consortium for Speech Translation Advanced Research (C-STAR), a partnership of 20 laboratories in the U.S., Japan, Germany, Korea, Italy, France, and Switzerland. C-STAR is developing a technology that will allow spontaneous translation from one language to another. The system was tested successfully in a videoconference at Carnegie Mellon last year.
NEWSMAKERS AND OPINION SHAPERS
Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft Corp.
To say it’s been a busy year for Gates would be a monumental understatement. From his highly publicized battles with the U.S. Justice Department, to his leadership in the much anticipated Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF), to his donation of $5 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has been the epicenter of school technology news in the past year. Like him or hate him, it’s clear there’s no getting away from him.
In February, Gates chose the American Association of School Administrators’ annual conferencean event he’d missed the previous year because he was testifying before Congress in the antitrust matterto unveil SIF, an industry-led initiative to develop a single standard for K-12 software.
While educators appreciated the idea, many were skeptical that such an effort would be successfulor that it would truly be an open, industry-wide standard. But Gates silenced his critics, and achieved further industry support, by stepping back and turning control of the project over to the Software and Information Industry Association in November.
Around the same time came the preliminary ruling in the antitrust case that Microsoft is a monopoly. Perhaps surprisingly, early reaction among educators in a straw poll conducted by eSchool News were largely sympathetic to the software giant; over time, however, reaction proved mixed.
That was also the case last year when Gates donated $5 billion of his fortune to the foundation that shares his name. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation makes grants to support a range of issues, including education; but that didn’t stop Microsoft’s critics from questioning the timing of the donation, coming as it did in the midst of the whole antitrust affair.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson
Jackson made headlines across the world in November with his declaration in a finding of facts that Microsoft is, indeed, a monopoly. The judge’s ruling set off a flurry of speculation about the future of the world’s most dominant technology companya subject of keen interest to educators as well, since 84 percent of schools use some form of Microsoft software. But Jackson’s surprise appointment of a conservative antitrust judge to mediate the conflict between Microsoft and the Justice Department drew rave reviews from observers, and many were optimistic that a settlement could be reached that will be favorable to all parties.
Ralph Petroff, CEO, and Larry Fullerton, founder and chief scientist, Time Domain Corp.
A breakthrough technology being developed by this Huntsville, Ala., company could revolutionize school networks and communications in the not-too-distant future. Called “digital-pulse technology,” it’s a way to transmit information wirelessly by using pulses of energy instead of radio waves, and technology analysts say it will have exciting applications in three areas: radar, global positioning technology, and wireless communications. If the experts are right, you’ll want to keep an eye on this company and its technology.
Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale University
Balkin is the chief architect of a controversial global web site rating and filtering plan being discussed by the Bertelsmann Foundation, a nonprofit social policy organization based in Germany, and other world organizations. The idea behind the plan is a system of self-regulation which would protect students and children from inappropriate internet content, while maintaining free speech. While some question the feasibility of such a plan, others say the mere presence of a dialog on the topic could lead to some sort of global solution one day.
Bernie Dodge, professor of education at San Diego State University
A pioneer in the field of educational technology, Dodge has helped thousands of teachers develop lesson plans that incorporate the internet through his creation of the WebQuest model along with colleague Tom March. Dodge also was the founding president of San Diego Computer-Using Educators and later served on the board of directors of the statewide CUE program.