In 1998, Congress authorized the creation of the Web-Based Education Commission and empowered it to study the current state of technology use in education, as well as its potential to transform education in the future. The commission issued its report to Congress in December.

The author of this article, who is the commission’s director for external relations, summarizes the group’s seven recommendations:

  1. Ensure that high-speed internet access is available to all students, regardless of family income.

  2. Provide educators with high-quality training and continuous updates and support.

  3. Improve research about the internet’s role in learning.

  4. Focus on quality and depth of online educational content.

  5. Encourage learning anytime, anywhere. This may require loosening school attendance laws in some jurisdictions.

  6. Ensure privacy for web users.

  7. Provide funding to achieve the other goals. The commission determined that the average school district spends $200 per student, per year, on technology–a pittance compared to the $5,500 that a typical company spends per employee, per year.