Ever hear of the Office of Educational Technology? Probably not. I certainly hadn’t, despite all the technology classes I have taken over the course of my education. As it turns out the Office of Educational Technology, or OET, is the department responsible for taking the initiative to revolutionize technology in the classroom. They provide research grants. They make Wi-Fi accessible for public school students across the country. They get it. They’re “with it.” So with it they have a YouTube page. Go figure.
According to the department’s official website (see link above), the OET is located in the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Education. Just one of many sub-offices and fractal departments that fall under the umbrella of government funded, capital “E” Education, sandwiched between something called “Faith-Based and Community Initiatives” and Student Financial Aid.
More importantly, it’s the reason public schools across the country have been going “paperless” by installing desktops, laptops, SMART boards, interactive projection systems, Wi-Fi and other innovative technologies in their classrooms. In fact, according to their official government website, one of the primary initiatives of the OET is to “close the broadband gap in k-12 schools in the US” in order to promote “equity of access.” This means high speed Wi-Fi in every public school system across the country. It’s an expensive but vital step in closing the learning gap from one public school system to the next.
Access to Wi-Fi means access to ideas, programs and information, to educational websites and resources. It means that if the OET is successful in achieving its goal, for the first time in the history of education children in every single classroom across the country will have access to the same kinds of resources at the same speed and in the same volume.