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Technology forum draws on expertise from North Carolina and the nation

February 24, 2012 - More than 100 experts in education and technology shared ideas and experience at a forum Feb. 21 hosted by Red Hat, a leader in open-source technology headquartered in Raleigh. The forum was part of Vision 2015, a strategic planning effort by the North Carolina New Schools Project to refine and accelerate school transformation for public schools in North Carolina during the next three years.

The forum focused on harnessing the power of technology as an effective and efficient tool to improve teaching and learning both for students and their teachers and to help teachers forge virtual connections among one another within networks of schools.

Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, opened the discussion by underscoring the role technology now plays in an increasingly global "information economy" that affects even basic, once low-tech businesses and industries such as agriculture.

"Technology is the value-add," Whitehurst said.

To maintain the high standard of living enjoyed in the United States, he said, the nation must continue working to improve its schools.

"How can we best apply technology to improve the quality of education?" Whitehurst said.

Bob Greczyn, former CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and chairman-elect of the NCNSP board of directors, framed the forum as part of the organization's broader planning effort to "bring the best ideas we can find to improve education across the state."
NCNSP President Tony Habit described the innovative secondary schools that are partners with the organization as fertile ground for the application of technology because of a culture intended to welcome constructive change.

With a growing recognition of teaching quality as a common denominator among nations making strides in education, Habit said, the effective use of technology can help teachers do a better job.

"How do we support teachers to be their very best?" Habit said.

A panel of technology experts heard a number of presentations from education and technology specialists who work in the field of instructional technology nationally and in North Carolina. The panel, chaired by Whitehurst, includes representatives from Capitol Broadcasting Company, the North Carolina Technology Association, SAS Institute, New Kind, Duke University, Lenovo, IBM and Microsoft.

The panel will meet again in March to develop a set of recommendations to present to NCNSP's board of directors.

To see more pictures from this event, visit the NCNSP Facebook page. To watch video from the event, visit the NCNSP YouTube channel.

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