New commission aims to connect classrooms to the Internet

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“Technology isn’t an option that schools may or may not choose for their kids. Technological competency is a requirement for entry into the global economy — and the faster we embrace it, the more we maintain and secure our economic leadership in the 21st century,” Duncan said.

The commission is based on recommendations from the Education Department's National Education Technology Plan and the FCC's National Broadband Plan, which were both developed in 2010.

"I’m pleased these leaders are rising to the challenge Secretary Duncan and I set out to harness technology to help our students reach their full potential. I’m confident the LEAD Commission’s blueprint will chart a course to ensure that education technology will help prepare students to compete in the 21st-century global economy,” Genachowski said.

Bollinger said colleges and universities "have a very significant interest in ensuring that young people graduate from high school with the rigorous skills that prepare them to thrive in higher education and beyond." He said human interaction between teachers and students and the study of classic texts will remain essential to education, but new communication tools "can greatly enhance teaching, learning and research."