NEWTON, MA | March 19, 2002
Charles Benton and Linda G. Roberts-two of the country’s leading advocates for the effective use of technology in education and society-have been elected to the Board of Trustees of Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). Benton is the Chairman of the Benton Foundation in Washington, DC and Roberts is a former Senior Adviser on Technology to the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Benton has devoted his career as a foundation executive, in government service and in business to the field of public interest communications. He was the chairman of the first White House Conference on Library and Information Services and a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters (known as the "Gore Commission"). Under his leadership, the Benton Foundation has worked to articulate a public interest vision for the digital age and to demonstrate the value of communications for solving social problems. In addition to his work with the Benton Foundation, Benton is chairman of Public Media Inc., a video publisher and distributor, and before that served as President of Encyclopaedia Britannica Education Corporation and a member of its board.
"EDC has done pioneering work in the application of media to education and in helping to bridge the Digital Divide. I’m especially pleased to join in those efforts," Benton said.
Roberts, a former director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology until January 2001, developed the first National Technology Plan, launching five new technology programs, and successfully increasing the department’s annual technology budget from less than $30 million to over $900 million. Roberts also championed development of the E-RATE, a $2.25 billion program that helps bring the Internet and advanced telecommunications to the nation’s schools and libraries. Smithsonian magazine called Roberts "America’s advocate for educational technology at the highest levels of government."
Before joining the Clinton administration, Roberts was a Senior Associate at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, where she directed several landmark studies promoting the use of technology for teaching and learning.
"I look forward to working with EDC on the challenge of how to capitalize on the power and promise of technology to improve teaching and learning," said Roberts.
EDC President Janet Whitla called the new trustees’ expertise and experience invaluable to EDC’s mission. "An increasing majority of EDC’s projects are using technology in innovative ways to expand educational opportunities, build communities, and improve student learning. Linda and Charles will be tremendous assets as we work to deepen the impact of that work."
Roberts and Benton join EDC trustees Alonzo L. Plough, Director, Seattle/King County (Washington) Department of Public Health (Chair); Edwin D. Campbell, Principal, Padanaram Associates, Inc.; Beatriz Chu Clewell, Principal Research Associate, The Urban Institute; Hans Decker, Executive in Residence and Adjunct Professor, Columbia University; Pat Mora, Author; Bradley Palmer, Managing Partner, Palm Ventures, LLC; Deborah Wadsworth, President, Public Agenda; William N. Whelan, Principal, Whelan Associates LLC; and Gail T. P. Wickes.
With more than 325 projects around the globe, EDC is one of the world’s leading nonprofit research and development organizations. Current EDC projects focused on technology include the America Connects Consortium and the Northeast and Islands Regional Technology in Education Consortium (NEIR*Tech)-both funded by the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, EDC’s Center for Children and Technology (CCT) in New York and the Center for Online Professional Education (COPE) in Newton conduct a range of research and development projects funded by IBM, Intel, the Gates Foundation, federal agencies, and other private foundations.