Richard Culatta, who directed the U.S. Department of Education’s office of educational technology during a time of rapid, if uneven, digital adoption in the nation’s schools, announced that he will resign from his post this month.
The department said that Culatta is leaving to take a position in state government, though they did not immediately identify the specific job.
His position at the agency will be filled by his deputy, Joseph South, who will serve as acting director for educational technology.
Under Culatta’s direction, the office of educational technology has overseen a number of efforts to try to encourage technology innovation in the nation’s classroom. Those included his advocacy for “open” educational resources, or materials created on licenses that allow them to be shared and reworked by teachers and others. He also urged private-sector developers to create tech tools that were useful to schools, given that K-12 systems are routintely bombarded with offers for ed-tech products, many of dubious or uncertain quality.
A few quick examples of Culatta’s interests: He was backed the development of the “Learning Registry,” an online information network designed to help vet and organize content for educators (he once called it the “human genome project” for open educational resources). And his office directed the publication of a guide for ed-tech developers, designed in part to inform them about the most pressing needs facing schools.
Under Culatta, the department also staged “Future Ready Regional Summits,” a series of events designed as part of a broader effort to help district leaders work more collaboratively to support learning through technology.
Culatta was skilled at navigating government and getting things done, as exemplified by his work advancing the President’s ConnectED Initiative to bring high-speed broadband connectivity to 99 percent of the nation’s schools within five years.
Read the article by Sean Cavanagh on Education Week at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2015/12/richard_culatta_resigning_as_e.html