About LEAD

What is the LEAD Commission?

Answering a challenge from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Education, experts from across the education and technology space formed the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission. The Commission has developed a blueprint, detailing the opportunity for using technology as a catalyst to transform and improve American education. The LEAD Commission has incorporated input from a cross-section of teachers, parents, local government officials, school officials, students and education technology industry leaders to develop its findings and guide the creation of the blueprint.

What are the LEAD Commission’s goals?

• Building on the National Education Technology Plan released by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2010 and the National Broadband Plan released by the FCC in March 2010, the Commission has worked to identify a path forward for expanded digital learning in the U.S. The Commission has developed a fact base of current efforts, key trends, cost implications and obstacles to adoption of existing technologies. It has also examined how technology has been a catalyst for improvement in other sectors and what that implies for how technology and digital content could positively impact teaching and learning over time. The Commission has recommended the types of policies and funding vehicles that may be needed to ensure that school systems can successfully incorporate technology.

What is the role of the FCC and U.S. Department of Education?

The FCC and U.S. Department of Education support the leadership and mission of the LEAD Commission. Both entities provide ongoing guidance to the Commission.

Who are the members of the LEAD Commission?

  • Columbia University President Lee Bollinger
  • Co-Founder of TPG Capital James Coulter
  • Common Sense Media Founder and CEO Jim Steyer

What issues does the LEAD Commission review and assess?

  • Which technology innovations are having a positive impact on teaching and learning and in what ways
  • Which subjects (e.g., math, science, language) or levels (e.g., high school) would benefit most from incorporating digital tools, and under what approaches
  • Which specific sectors might be best suited for more rapid adoption of digital tools
  • How students are taught basic digital skills like getting online, using software, and researching issues and how they are taught to think analytically, critically, and creatively about the information they access online
  • Whether or not students are receiving enough guidance on the importance of behaving in a positive and responsible manner online
  • How teachers are being trained to make the most effective use of technology in the classroom
  • Whether or not new policies are needed to facilitate faster adoption or eliminate roadblocks
  • What national, state, and local governments could do to accelerate the adoption of established digital innovation