Sara Hall
SETDA Executive Director
[email protected]

U.S. Department of Education Announces Karen Cator as New Director for Office of Educational Technology at SETDA’s Education Forum

Jim Shelton and Karen Cator Share Vision for Ed Tech with Teachers of the Year Panel

November 3, 2009 (Washington, DC) – Today at SETDA’s Education Forum: Defining the Future of Learning, Jim Shelton, the Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, introduced Karen Cator as the new Director of Education Technology. Ms. Cator talked about how technology promises to provide the opportunity for increasing student engagement; improving feedback among teachers, parents, and students; enabling students to experience complex concepts; encouraging students and teachers to be creators and publishers of content; and pushing education to new limits in time and space.  Ms. Cator also encouraged the educational community to embrace the “Yes-And Culture,” where the response to tough questions is, “Yes, and here is how we can do it.”

“We are so pleased about Karen’s appointment to this pivotal role within the Department of Education,” said Mary Ann Wolf, SETDA’s Executive Director. “Karen understands the importance of rolling out technology systemically with a student-centered approach,” Wolf continued. “She has first hand educational experience and is a passionate advocate for how technology can be utilized throughout the school system to improve educational outcomes.”

Following the official announcement, Ms. Cator facilitated SETDA’s Teacher of the Year Panel and heard directly from educators the benefits of integrating technology into the curriculum for teachers and students and the importance of providing teachers with on-going, job-embedded, sustainable professional development.

Wolf concluded by saying, “SETDA looks forward to supporting Karen’s efforts to implement the Administration’s vision for maximizing the potential of technology to transform our education system.”


The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal association representing the state directors for education technology. SETDA works to promote national leadership in education technology; provide professional development to members; in an effort to build partnerships that provide leadership to advance learning opportunities. SETDA’s membership includes educational technology directors from the state departments of education of all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Bureau of Indian Affairs, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands.

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