Hillary Clinton

What Clinton’s Tech Agenda Means for EdTech

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton revealed her plans to further develop the technology and innovation fields, including education technology.

Clinton, who announced her Tech & Innovation Agenda last week, is vocal about creating jobs in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. Her plan consists of 5 key parts:

  1. Invest in technology to create well-paying, obtainable careers. Clinton promises new commitments and policies for STEM education and technology startups.
  2. Provide high-speed broadband to all Americans, including free WiFi in public spaces like airports. There is expected to be an emphasis on 5G, laying the groundwork for the next generation of the mobile internet.
  3. Promote high-tech exports and ensure the free-flow of data to ensure that America remains the global leader in technology.
  4. Establish guidelines and policies to support consistency within innovation—rules that “foster healthy competition, reduce barriers to entry, and effectively protect intellectual property—while safeguarding privacy and security,” her agenda states.
  5. Utilize technology to create a smarter, more efficient, and responsive government that can communicate with the global population.

What does this mean for edtech?
Perhaps the most intriguing part of Clinton’s Silicon Valley wishlist is her primary focus on STEM education and tech startups.

Clinton’s campaign is vague on the details of what that will look like, but they talk about a 2020 where every home has access to high-speed, affordable Internet. She pledges support for states, cities, and charters in underrepresented areas, citing successes at Denver’s School of Science and Technology and the Science Leadership Academy of Philadelphia.

Besides supporting schools that specialize in STEM, Clinton suggests that generous grants can help redesign all high schools to focus more on STEM curricula; support “makerspaces,” and technology competitions in schools and clubs; and help districts connect with local private and public universities to prepare young STEM students for higher education.

The blueprint, which spans about 15 pages, is expected to have a major impact on all facets of edtech—everyone from investors, innovators, and students can reap the benefits of this lofty plan.

The likely Democratic nominee displayed interest in moving her edtech plans forward during her visit to Galvanize, a learning community for technology for students, startups and established businesses, in Denver.

Though critics have chastised the plausibility and economic stability of the agenda, Clinton continues to dream of an edtech America.

Gretchen Kuhsel

Gretchen Kuhsel

Gretchen Kuhsel is a junior journalism student at Emerson College, where she is the assistant lifestyle editor at The Berkeley Beacon. Her work has also been published in various campus magazines and The Connecticut Post. When she’s not writing, she’s spending far too much time online shopping or balancing upside down on her yoga mat.