Imagining the Future: Digitally Enhanced Education in California

Author(s): Kyle, Stacey; Rudé, Diana; Lezin, Nicole

Release Date: June 1, 2011 | Last Updated Date: February 19, 2015


In 2010 a bi-partisan group of California Legislators asked CCST to assess the state’s innovation ‘ecosystem’ and offer a specific list of recommendations for legislators to enhance the state’s ability to foster and benefit from innovation. CCST convened a series of roundtables with academic, industry and research leaders across the state in late 2010 to seek input on the challenges faced by California. These groups cited three principal areas needing attention: support for the innovation process itself, impending water shortages, and digital education.

As part of the process to help develop specific legislative ideas for responding to these areas, on March 25, 2011, the California Teacher Advisory Council (CalTAC) convened a group of teachers and administrators, representatives from technology companies, philanthropies, policy groups, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) networks and publishers on the grounds of Cogswell Polytechnical College in Sunnyvale, California to discuss digital education.

Both anecdotal observations and neuroscience research highlight that digital natives – young people who have never known an environment where they are not surrounded by technology – learn differently. How we take advantage of these changes and shifts to shape the classroom of the future will have profound implications for industry, as well as education.

The summit focused on three questions:

  • What does a digitally designed and enhanced classroom look and feel like?
  • How will it transform teaching and learning – the culture of a school?
  • What is the toolkit to accomplish this type of transformation?

This summary covers the main presentations and discussions at the summit, including:

  • the keynote address by Cogswell Polytechnic College’s President, Charles Haskell;
  • three demonstrations of how different tools can be used in the classroom (along with a response and reflection from Cal TAC member Jeff Foote);
  • a discussion of new partnerships and how these could be launched and strengthened;
  • an example of how one California high school already has embraced the digital future; and
  • a discussion of specific next steps emerging from the summit.