Commerce, Education Announce Effort to Foster Advanced Technologies for Education and Training

October 27, 2003

The Interagency Working Group on Advanced Technologies for Education and Training will convene under the aegis of the President’s National Science and Technology Council, and will report to both the Council’s Committee on Technology and Committee on Science. Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology Phillip J. Bond and the Department of Education’s Director of Educational Technology John Bailey will serve as co-chairs.

Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, stressed the need for innovation in education. “America’s prosperity in the 21st century rests largely upon the success of our education system to equip citizens with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in our global economy. As innovation drives economic growth, it is incumbent upon us to explore innovative means of improving learning and instruction. Education is no longer limited to our early years; it is now a life-long pursuit and we need new systems and tools to meet this need. We are barely scratching the surface of technology’s potential to transform the way we learn.”

“America’s competitiveness in the knowledge-based economy depends on the skills and abilities of our workforce,” said Under Secretary Bond. “In the face of intense global competition, nations around the world are competing for jobs and economic growth by developing a world class workforce. To compete and win, our workers need broad and rapid access to high-quality knowledge and skills development from K to gray.”

Advanced technologies have the potential to provide knowledge and training when and where it is needed, while boosting the productivity of learning and lowering its cost. Such technologies have the potential to boost the capabilities, productivity, and flexibility of American workers.

The Working Group builds on efforts launched by Secretary Donald L. Evans in September 2002, when he released Visions 2020: Transforming Education and Training Through Advanced Technologies, a compilation of visions prepared by leaders in industry, academia and government on how emerging technologies might be harnessed to revolutionize the education and training landscape. The working group also was built upon a September 2002 Commerce Department Summit on the Use of Advanced Technologies in Education and Training, which brought together industry leaders, educators, researchers and others to explore ways to foster technological innovation in education and training. The Interagency Working Group is the next step in addressing opportunities identified at the summit as well as the barriers that inhibit technological innovation in education and training.

Federal agencies with responsibilities in the areas of research and development, education and training, museums, libraries, arts and the humanities are being invited to join the Working Group. The group’s first efforts will be focused on examining U.S. research and development investments in advanced technologies for education and training, and factors affecting technological innovation in this sector.

Bond’s remarks and additional information about the working group will be made available at

Contacts:, Technology Administration
Telephone: (202) 482-1065
Thomas, Department of Education
Telephone: (202) 401-1579