In January 2005, the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) collaborated with the
National Academy of Sciences to establish the California Teacher Advisory Council (CalTAC), a group
of highly accomplished mathematics and science teachers working to improve STEM education in
California. Comprised of a competitively selected group of award-winning, highly accomplished K-14
teachers, CalTAC represents a cross-section of grade levels, subject matter, and communities
throughout the state.
The council provides a unique resource to California to facilitate a much-needed connection
between the classroom, education leadership, policy makers and the research community around
high-quality teaching within the STEM disciplines. CalTAC teachers provide input on best practices
and effective education policy, with a strong focus on digitally enhanced education. Members also
serve as mentors, Master Teachers, and professional development providers, evidence of their
commitment to strengthening the teaching profession.
current work has grown out of an important report, Innovate 2 Innovation, a leadership document that
focuses on digital teaching and learning. In order to go from aspiration to reality, Cal TAC put
forward a framework with specific steps that need be taken to fully implement digitally enhanced
education throughout the state. Their work rests on four foundational pillars:
Classroom Environment: We must face the redefinition of schooling to include the classroom as a
mobile learning environment (access any time, any place) in which students have an active role in
their learning experience, resulting in more student engagement and deeper learning.
Teacher: Schools everywhere must foster an innovative learning environment where teachers are well
prepared and supported in their efforts to ensure student success in a digital world.
Institutional Infrastructure: The infrastructure in these learning environments must keep pace with
the digital world - students and teachers must have ready access to digital learning tools, coupled
with policies that support their use.
- The Partnerships: We must encourage and enhance
public-private partnerships, a critical component for the development and sustainability of the
envisioned 21st century learning ecosystems.
Cal TAC has sponsored workshops and symposia - and the white
papers associated with them - have been carefully designed to enable participants to explore various
aspects of digital teaching and learning in three important ways: They provide opportunities for
candid discussion of the ways in which to prepare the teacher workforce to use digital tools
effectively to support students' learning; they connect innovators to enable the sharing and
advancement of new ideas; and they engage members of the policy community, early on, to strengthen
the connection between policy, research, and practice.