Penn GSE, Departments of Education and Commerce Conference Set: Education Technology as an Export

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto-Haines | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820May 13, 2011

PHILADELPHIA — The Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania has joined forces with the U.S. departments of Commerce and Education to organize the Exporting Education Technology Conference, May 16 at Penn.

The conference is designed to promote U.S. exports of education technology and to invite business leaders to offer their thoughts on how government can best assist these efforts.

“To date, there has been no concerted effort to develop a national strategy to export education technology,” Doug Lynch, vice dean of Penn GSE and conference organizer, said.  “The purpose of this meeting is to bring together leaders from the sector so that government officials can listen to their needs.”

The group will discuss the importance of educational technology and its role in the National Export Initiative, innovation in education and the global context and the many global education opportunities and barriers. 

“Historically, U.S. government trade promotion work in education has largely involved promotion of U.S. colleges and universities to potential students abroad.  The U.S. has been very successful in this endeavor,” said Barb Rawdon, the director of education health care and professional services of the International Trade Administration in the Department of Commerce.  “Last year, more than 690,000 foreign students came to our country, and we realized education services exports of about $20 billion.”

“Education is one of the largest employers and industry sectors in the country and, in general, the U.S. holds a competitive advantage globally,” Lynch said.  “With shrinking resources, the ability to leverage technology to either reach children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to education or to help educators around the world better teach children is doing right not only in terms of a social-justice agenda, but it also adds jobs to our economy and helps reduce our trade deficit.”

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