A commission of experts has been formed to recommend an initial research and policy agenda for Digital Promise, a new national center created by Congress with bipartisan support to advance technologies to transform teaching and learning.

The commission – dubbed the Recommendations for Education and Advancement of Learning (REAL) Agenda –was unveiled as part of today’s White House Digital Promise announcement.

Dr. David Belanger, AT&T Labs chief scientist and vice president of information and software systems research, and Dr. Arden Bement Jr., director of the Purdue University Global Policy Research Institute and former National Science Foundation director, will serve as co-chairs.

The United States leads the world in technology and innovation. We must constantly look ahead to researching ways to apply that leadership to the education and training of our workforce.” – Aneesh Chopra

The TechAmerica Foundation effort will outline a set of initial research projects for the inaugural years of Digital Promise and identify any policy hurdles that inhibit progress. The commission will submit those recommendations to the Obama Administration’s Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra (pictured above).

“The United States leads the world in technology and innovation,” Chopra said in a statement released by TechAmerica. “We must constantly look ahead to researching ways to apply that leadership to the education and training of our workforce. The Administration welcomes the TechAmerica Foundation effort to assemble leading private sector thinkers to help in developing a next-generation research agenda for the new national center.”

Digital Promise is designed to identify the information and technological needs that will improve all levels of formal and informal learning and education to prepare Americans to compete in the global economy. The recommendations of the REAL Agenda will help provide the research direction.

“We have an opportunity to use technology to change the way people learn in elementary education, secondary education and at their job; in the private sector and the public sector,” said TechAmerica Foundation Chairman Sen. Robert Bennett. “We hope to help fashion a research agenda that will be insightful and will lead to sustainable action for the long-term. The results must be applicable in the real world.”

“The benefits of Digital Promise will ultimately be seen in every sector of the U.S. economy – but its full potential will only be realized if we identify a relevant research agenda and remove policies or practices that slow the research,” Dr. Belanger said. “We look forward to working closely with Aneesh Chopra and the Administration in providing recommendations to help address cutting edge research that can ultimately drive job creation.”

“It is important that the Administration is focused on forging public- private partnerships to leverage our national advantage in technology so our workforce is better prepared for the highest value, highest wage jobs,” said Dr. Bement. “I look forward to leading this project with Dr. Belanger and bringing an academic perspective to help inform the development of the research agenda for Digital Promise.”

TechAmerica Foundation is currently taking applications for seats on the commission from interested leaders in business and academia. More information and application forms can be found at www.techamericafoundation.org/REALAgenda.

To learn more about Digital Promise please visit www.digitalpromise.org.