This week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson gave a preview of forthcoming recommendations by his Education Technology Task Force which includes the need for a cabinet-level position to oversee technology investments at the California Department of Education (CDE).  

 Torlakson provided some details of the recommendations on Tuesday at TechAmerica’s 9th Annual Executive Briefing in Sacramento.  

 "We need a cabinet level position, an expert in technology, to help drive this agenda and help implement and work with our team," Torlakson said.

 A report of the task force recommendations are expected from the group convened by Torlakson in March 2012.   With members from the Education Technology Task Force, the goal is to better bring technology into public education in terms of both new standards and of oversight.

 "It lays out a road map to get from the place that we are and how do we get to the 21st century," Torlakson said.

With more than 2500 staff, the department oversees $60 billion in federal and state education spending, according to Torlakson.

 Other recommendations in the forthcoming task force report include:

  • Provide training and certification for public school teachers in technology instruction,
  • Design facilities with technology instruction in mind,
  • Establish private sector partnerships to allow access both inside and outside of school; and,
  • Invest both private and public sector money in improving the technology hardware and software in schools.

 The final report will come out in the next few months, according to the Department of Education Communications Division.