- Richard Culatta, director of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology, will step down at the end of the year.
- Culatta's time leading the office has seen him work to unite educators, entrepreneurs, researchers, and others — via mediums ranging from Twitter chats to MOOCs — around a mission of improving educational equity, EdSurge reports.
- His noteworthy contributions include the Future Ready superintendent network, the "Ed Tech Developer's Guide," increased support for open educational resources, and increased awareness of the need for reliable broadband in schools via the Obama administration's ConnectED initiative.
The announcement of Culatta's departure comes just over two months after U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan revealed that he will also step down at the end of the year. With President Barack Obama's final term in office winding down, it's not entirely unexpected that some top officials are already moving on.
While his next move hasn't been specified, what is known, according to EdSurge, is that Culatta plans to return to Rhode Island , where he previously served as an instructional technologist at the University of Rhode Island. Underscoring the need for better teacher professional development, he also told the site that it's the one area he'd most like to see improve. He also told Education Dive in June that ensuring ed tech products did more than simply taking what's already being done and digitizing it — like what might happen with, say, a transition to smart whiteboards — was a top priority for him.
As with other initiatives overseen by the Education Department during the Obama administration, it remains to be seen how the newly-passed Every Student Succeeds Act will impact those undertaken by Culatta's office.