By Curt Kolcun, V.P., Microsoft U.S. Public Sector
The rough economic seas we’re sailing these days can make anyone queasy about our nation’s future. Longstanding concerns about U.S. competitiveness in the global economy are accelerating these concerns. For years, many international and domestic studies have found that the United States continues to lag behind other developed countries in access to, and annual spending on, education, research and development. These gaps are especially worrisome in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, where U.S. innovation has fueled the country’s technological and economic dominance for decades. The Council on Foreign Relations recently posted an interesting video discussion on how education trends could affect U.S. competitiveness long term
Reduced access to essential education and training resources directly impact our economic prosperity. Only through education can the U.S. continue to thrive by adapting to growing and changing social, environmental and economic demands. Fortunately, the federal government is acting. White House programs to improve access to education and training
include Educate to Innovate to increase STEM education
and the Race to the Top Early-Learning Challenge
. But there is more to be done.
Ensuring access to the highest quality education is the only way to get all brains on deck. Over the next several weeks, we will explore these issues of access to education and training. We’ll look at how technology fits into the current model of educating students and training citizens and we’ll look at barriers to digital solutions as well as technologies that show promise. We’ll focus on how we can remove technical illiteracy and lack of digital access as a barrier to education and economic growth. In our explorations, we hope to rethink with you the concept of access to technology, education and training. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject:
Chat with us on http://twitter.com/#!/Microsoft_Gov
with the hashtag #DigitalDivide.