WASHINGTON, December 9, 2009 - Broadband technology is an indispensable tool for educating a generation of young Americans to operate in a globalized world and share knowledge with their peers worldwide, Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., said on Tuesday while delivering opening remarks at the December Broadband Breakfast Club.
"As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and a former Ambassador, I am fully aware of how every aspect of life in nations around the globe has been altered by interactive technologies and telecommunications, as well as by the accelerated pace of technological change," Watson said.
But Watson warned that gaps in technological capabilities between societies may increasingly place them on threshold between what Alvin Toffler called the Second and Third Wave of Civilization. Watson praised the Obama administration's broadband initiatives with an "innovation agenda" capable of tackling the "grand challenges wrought by technologies."
[Obama] understands "that if we do not innovate, America will abdicate its leadership role and competitive edge," she said. "He recognizes that Broadband enables innovation to meet our nation’s challenge in many areas."
Watson went on to describe similar programs she has promoted in her own district, including "best practice programs" to create "21st century environments for teaching and learning."
"The programs use state of the art technologies to link students and educators to each other and the real world. Both programs are committed to cultivating youth as emerging leaders of a global society," she said.
The goal of Watson's programs, she said, is to eliminate the digital divide not just across America, but worldwide - and enable a generation of global citizens to grow and learn together. "It is my hope that our nations’ national broadband strategy will eliminate the digital divide to ensure that all our communities will have opportunities to link to international partners and implement innovate programs and educational experiences."