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Knewton Talking Ed Tech and Big Data with Karen Cator

Posted in Knerds on March 20, 2012 by

Last Friday, we were fortunate enough to have Karen Cator, Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S Department of Education, pay a visit to Knewton HQ.

Prior to the lunch, Karen spoke to the whole company about the importance of data literacy and how we as a society can build momentum toward the mining of more meaningful educational data. One of the biggest takeaways was the importance of using school time efficiently and effectively and building in opportunities for students to engage in academic work throughout the day. Karen also alerted us to, a DOE website dedicated to creating an “evidence framework for learning technologies” and supporting ongoing improvements in the edtech space. Any researcher or practitioner can use the site to offer input on this initiative.

The conversation during our Ladies Lunch was fast-paced and engaging. As educators, software engineers, designers, and product managers, we’re all tremendously inspired by Karen’s work in both the private and public sector. Topics ranged from careers in tech to the global competitiveness of American schools to issues regarding adoption and acceptance of technology. We walked away with a more precise understanding of just how policy, education, and technology intersect–and with a deeper sense of how we at Knewton can contribute our knowledge to the collective public discussion of these matters. Karen offered great insight into these issues, and all of us here at Knewton–men and women!–are grateful for the time she took out of her busy schedule to drop by Union Square.