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Smithsonian, FCC and USDA Announce Online Learning Registry

in Broadband's Impact/Education/National Broadband Plan by

WASHINGTON July 21, 2010- More than 150 rural education stakeholders and technology experts from 26 states came together to learn from one another and provide feedback to federal officials today.

“Knowledge knows no boundaries and we cannot allow distance to stand between students, education and opportunity,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We have the hardware, the latest software, and huge investments are being made in the build-out of the national broadband plan to connect us as never before.”

The summit was held at the National Museum of the American Indian in partnership with Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough.

Secretary Duncan announced the creation of the Online Learning Registry which will provide access to the thousands of documents, photos and other data housed at the Smithsonian. This online registry was one of the many recommendations made by the National Broadband Plan.

“No technological innovation in our lifetime has greater potential to transform education than high-speed Internet,” said Chairman Genachowski. “But computers and connections alone are not enough to seize the opportunities of broadband for education. The National Broadband Plan recommended that the federal government increase the pool of high-quality digital resources that educators can easily find, access, and combine with other content to help their students learn. I am very pleased to see this recommendation being adopted. The Learning Registry will put a library of world-class educational content at the fingertips of every American student and teacher.”

With more than half of the school districts in America located in rural areas this new resource will become invaluable.

“We must work together to pool our resources and leverage the power of technology to produce increasingly better results for children and adults,” Duncan said. “We know that students learn differently and we have an opportunity for great teachers to use technology to provide customized instruction and career pathways for students. We have an opportunity to rethink and redesign education in America to increase opportunities for a quality education regardless of zip code.”

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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