Ex-Gov. Perdue to lead digital learning effort
Posted January 22, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. — Former North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue is returning to the education policy arena after a one-year hiatus largely away from public life.
Perdue and former Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer announced the start of an initiative to expand the use of electronic technology to improve the learning process. Perdue will serve as chairwoman of the Digital Learning Institute, or DigiLEARN.
DigiLEARN will be different from other digital learning ventures, she said, because it will bring together entrepreneurs and venture capitalists with educators and policymakers to develop online and mobile education tools for learners of all ages, from preschool to adult.
"You know there's some student on N.C. State's campus right now who is on the computer figuring out the latest app," she said, adding DigiLEARN wants to create incentives for entrepreneurs "to take the idea to scale through beta testing it with live kids because educators and kids are going to be involved in that."
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching have committed nearly $500,000 to the project, "which means we've been sponsored by the big players in America around educational innovation and technology," she said.
Perdue thanked Gov. Pat McCrory's administration and legislative leaders for their continued support for digital education initiatives. She also said she was pleased to hear McCrory express support Tuesday for teacher raises.
North Carolina's first female governor, she chose not to run for re-election in 2012. Since leaving office a year ago, the Craven County Democrat has spent time on the campuses of Harvard and Duke universities.
DigiLEARN won't be her full-time job, she said, noting that she has some other projects underway, including a consulting firm, Perdue Strategies Group.