The White House recently unveiled plans for a research center that aims to integrate more digital learning into our nation’s classrooms. The idea for the center first appeared a decade ago under the name “The National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies.” The realization of the idea brings with it a new name– Digital Promise.

Digital Promise hopes to improve education for students in the US through the use of technology and digital tools. This means the development of new learning tools and systems, as well as structures for testing the efficacy of these new modes of teaching.

The website for Digital Promise describes its purpose thus:

“Digital Promise’s purpose is to support a comprehensive research and development program to harness the increasing capacity of advanced information and digital technologies to improve all levels of learning and education, formal and informal, in order to provide Americans with the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the global economy.”


The center hopes to close the gap in educational quality between high and low income students by providing digital technology to students who might otherwise not receive its benefits. “Given the power of this technology, the administration believes that we should be doing everything we can to take advantage of it,”  Tom Kalil of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy told USA TODAY.

Watch below for a message from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan introducing Digital Promise and outlining its goals.

What do you think? Is Washington breaking new ground? What changes do you expect to see as a result of Digital Promise?