I'm pleased to address a conference of such notable people and I'm sorry I can't be there in person. But I would like to talk about an issue that is of great importance to our nation and that is educational technology. President Clinton and I are committed to improving the use and availability of technology in schools. We believe that to give our children a chance to succeed tomorrow we need to help them become technologically literate today.
As a nation, we must guarantee that all our schools are brought into the 21st Century and that none is left behind. It is because of these convictions that the President and I have outlined a vision for a national campaign to bring the technological revolution to our schools. True change in our schools cannot be achieved by a piece-meal effort . We cannot expect the radical improvements that are needed if we attack only one small part of the problem.
The Presidents vision encompasses four pillars of change. The four pillars that will change our schools are quite simple. Number one, modern computers and learning devices will be accessible to every student. Two, classrooms will be connected to one another and to the outside world. Three, teachers will be ready to use and teach technology. And four, educational software will be an integral part of the curriculum and as engaging as the best video game. Each of these four pillars is critical to achieving the national goal and we will not succeed unless efforts are made in each area.
We need to involve every sector of American society to help achieve these goals. The President and I strongly believe that everyone in the country has a stake in achieving this national goal; parents, teachers , students, companies, federal, state and local governments. And that's why the President and I call on people in every community to join us in this new national mission.
It's electronic barn raising if you will. We need parents, students and teachers to commit to using new technology. Those who really believe in and understand the benefits. We need businesses that understand that it is in their best interest to improve the technological literacy of students in this country. We need state and local governments to commit resources to technology and training. Lastly we need people like you across the nation to continue to speak out about the need for technological advancements in our schools. So we all must do our part.
That's why today I ask you to recommit yourself to this goal and to strengthen your involvement. Speak out in your community about the importance of the educational technologies. Engage your children, students, neighbors, and community leaders to get involved in the nation wide effort to give our students what they deserve, the technological resources that they need to excel in their lives.
I hope that this vision for educational technology will spread like wild fire throughout every community in the country and that each community will find it's own way to contribute to our national goal. We must all do our part. I appreciate what you have done and will continue to do.
ICTE New Orleans '96.
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