Former Federal Ed-Tech Director Moves to Digital Advocacy Organization

Managing Editor

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Karen Cator, who until recently directed the U.S. Department of Education’s school technology office, is joining a nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to improve schools through digital innovation and other means.

Cator will lead Digital Promise, an organization that was established through a law signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. It began its work three years later.

The former Education Department official’s move to the organization announced Tuesday morning here at the Arizona State University/GSV Advisors Education Innovation Summit, a gathering of education business officials, entrepreneurs, and others, being held in Scottsdale, Ariz., this week. (Look for my coverage of the ASU/GSV event here, and that of my colleague Katie Ash on the Digital Education blog, this week.)

Cator said the idea of joining a relatively new, and evolving organization appealed to her. She described the move as “a continuation of the work I was able to do at the department.”

She said one of her goals is to help Digital Promise bridge the divides that separate technology entrepreneurs, education researchers, and K-12 educators themselves—all of who tend to not understand each others’ work and needs, to detriment of improving schools.

“People work in silos,” she told Education Week. “There are a lot of people talking amongst themselves, and it’s not communicated to educators, or entrepreneurs….Everyone can [benefit from] being informed by the other two entities.”

Check out our full post about Cator’s move to Digital Promise on the Digital Education blog.

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