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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 30, 1998

January 30, 1998

                        MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF 

      SUBJECT:  Enhancing Learning and Education Through Technology

The Federal Government continually invests in training its employees. Federal agencies have an obligation to provide the best training for their employees at the lowest possible cost. Federal agency training programs should be model users of new technologies to enhance learning. Many agencies are already improving training by using new technology effectively, but more can be done. New instructional technologies can also make education, at work and at home, easier and more convenient for all American workers. Federal programs that provide financial support for lifelong learning should adapt to the new opportunities technology provides. A Federal Government-wide effort is needed to explore how Federal programs and initiatives can better support the use of technologies for lifelong learning. Therefore, I hereby direct as follows:

  1. The National Economic Council (NEC), in consultation with the Chief Information Officers Council (CIOC) as established by Executive Order 13011 of July 16, 1996, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), shall investigate how to make full use of emerging technologies to improve the cost-effectiveness and the quality of Federal training programs. Specifically, I direct that within 6 months from the date of this memorandum the NEC, in consultation with CIOC, OPM, and OSTP, provide me a plan identifying areas in which technology-enhanced training and learning may complement conventional Federal training and learning. The plan should describe how the agencies, when feasible and appropriate, will:

(a) make full use of best commercial practices when purchasing

instructional software;

(b) work with businesses, universities, and other appropriate

         entities to foster a competitive market for electronic 

(c) develop a model technical approach to facilitate electronic

         instruction building on existing agency efforts, such as the 
         Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative Partnership; and

(d) develop and support a program of research that will accelerate

the development and adoption of new instructional technologies.

2. The Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Labor shall work together to promote adoption of the best new ways of using technology to enhance training and education in programs that provide Federal support for education and training.

3. The NEC, in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget, the OSTP, and other appropriate Federal Government entities, shall develop a national strategy to promote high-quality education and training opportunities that can be offered in a manner that is efficient, affordable, and convenient. Industry, universities, labor unions, and other stakeholders should be consulted in the development of the strategy. The strategy shall be completed within 6 months of the date of this memorandum.


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