Governors Bev Perdue and Bob Wise Address the Digital Transformation of Education

October 1, 2012— Governor Bev Perdue paired up with former West Virginia Governor, Bob Wise, to host an interactive webinar on technology and education last week. The conference was open to the public, with participants listening in from all over the nation. The webinar was hosted by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation through the online epic-ed community.

“This was a great opportunity to hear from, and interact with, two state and national leaders in helping schools transition to global information age approaches for teaching and learning,” said Glenn Kleiman, moderator and Executive Director at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University. “Both Governors Perdue and Wise have led important initiatives to further the use of technology to enhance education.”

Perdue and Wise discussed the challenges, future and advancements of digital education. Stressing the importance of education for the advancement of the economy, the governors highlighted that students learn regardless of their location.

Flexibility is also an advantage in digital education, not only to the students, but also to teachers. The two stated that technology could help enhance and enable the teacher, the most important part of the classroom, to be able to better teach the students. Technology in the classroom also allows students to go at their own pace and spend more time in areas where they need more help.

One challenge discussed was the cost and the possibility of government money being taken away from school allocated funds. Perdue stressed that educating as many people as possible is as crucial to society as providing water and sewage services, saying, “Even though sacrifices will have to be made, funding should always be available.” Perdue believes that funding was the reason for such high success in North Carolina education. She stated that taxpayers understand the necessity of education for society and are willing to pay for education as a top priority.

Perdue and Wise agreed that future office holders should look at education and realize that technology is essential and initiatives that incorporate technology into the classroom should be funded. They also discussed the importance of teacher resources, commitment from schools, leadership affirmation of teachers being essential to the classroom and sharing research.

Later that afternoon, Perdue and Wise met with state leaders. Groups invited include eLearning Commission, State Board of Education, Board of Governors and the Community College Board members.

Epic-ed is a national online community of practice that provides a dynamic environment for educators to collaborate, share their expertise, and have access to resources to strengthen their ability to plan, implement and sustain technology-enabled learning initiatives. It is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Education, the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University and the Consortium for School Networking.

Written by Rebecca Hauser, Communications Intern, College of Education, NC State University 

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