CSUN Lecture to Explore How Technology Can Transform the Classroom

Karen Cator, president and CEO of Digital Promise and a leading voice for transforming American education through technology.

Karen Cator, president and CEO of Digital Promise and a leading voice for transforming American education through technology.

How can schools close the digital learning gap? That question and others regarding education and technology will be explored at California State University, Northridge’s first Education on the Edge lecture of the new school year on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Karen Cator, president and CEO of Digital Promise and a leading voice for transforming American education through technology, innovation and research, will discuss the realities faced by teachers and students in the classroom as they deal with the impact of emerging technologies on education. Her lecture is scheduled to take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Northridge Center of the University Student Union on the east side of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.

Wendy Murawski, executive director and Eisner Endowed Chair at CSUN’s Center for Teaching and Learning, which presents the lecture series, said she was excited to have Cator visit the campus.

“I asked around to find out who was really knowledgeable about what was cutting edge related to technology and its current and future use in educational settings. Karen Cator’s name kept coming up,” Murawski said. “She is clearly on top of what to expect in pre-K-12 and university classrooms, so we know her talk will be relevant to a wide audience of students, teachers, professors, parents, administrators and community members.”

Cator served as director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education from 2009-13. In that role, she led the development of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan and focused her office’s efforts on teacher and leader support. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Cator directed Apple’s leadership and advocacy efforts in education. At Apple, her work centered on the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies and the realities faced by teachers, students and administrators.

She began her educational career in Alaska, where she was a teacher, and helped lead technology planning and implementation efforts; she served as a special assistant for telecommunications for the governor of Alaska. She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Springfield College in Massachusetts and her master’s degree in school administration from the University of Oregon. She is the past chair of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

The Education on the Edge lecture series is free and open to the public. However, reservations are required. To reserve a seat, register at http://CTLcator.eventbrite.com.

CSUN’s Center for Teaching and Learning is the research, collaboration and professional development arm of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education. Faculty from departments across the college are conducting cutting-edge research and professional development to address the needs of schools in collaboration with K-12 teachers, administrators and community members.

The center was established in 2002, thanks to a generous gift from the Eisner Foundation, the family foundation of Michael and Jane Eisner. The center initially focused on neurodevelopment and how knowledge of those constructs can be taught to teachers and ultimately impact the way they teach and the way students learn. During the past few years, the center has broadened its scope. Faculty and affiliates are researching and analyzing multiple innovative approaches to learning, counseling, educational therapy, administration and professional development.