Tuesday, July 14, 2009

President Obama's Push for Education

I was thrilled to read that President Obama strongly believes in investing in education to help the US find its way out of this economic mess.

"Time and again, when we have placed our bet for the future on education, we have prospered as a result -- by tapping the incredible innovative and generative potential of a skilled American workforce," Obama said.

President Obama is absolutely right. The future lies in investing in education. As someone in the elearning industry it is self-evident that the US has the technology know how to leverage present-day technologies (without having to invest in futuristic programs) to educate its citizens in new and innovative ways. And yes, this is an understatement.

"Now is the time to build a firmer, stronger foundation for growth that will not only withstand future economic storms, but that will help us thrive," he said on the Macomb campus.

Technologies such as WebEx Training Center from Cisco (and similar technologies), Instant Messenger (IM), Voice-over-IP (VOIP), Google Apps, Broadband Internet connection are mature and widely used, especially in the technology industry today. There is absolutely no reason why with a little assistance from the government these technologies can't be extended to average citizens, community colleges and schools. Moreover there is no shortage of open source technologies with ample following and support that can be leveraged to achieve the goal of making education and training easily available, effective and affordable to the every US citizen.

Despite the downturn and the threat of losing American jobs, there is little doubt that the US is still very much the center of technological innovation the world. The President has set the stage by emphasizing the Government's commitment, it up to Congress to follow through on his vision and for the industry to help realize this vision.