Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

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Completing the Digital Puzzle: Increasing Access and Using Data to Improve Educational Pathways

Richard Culatta (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology)


Culatta Rick

Richard Culatta is a leader in the field of educational innovation. He has experience in K-12, higher education, and workplace learning environments. As the Acting Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education his work focuses on leveraging open data to create personalized learning experiences for all students and promoting increased connectivity to improve access to education and make college more affordable. Prior to joining the Department of Education, he served as an education policy advisor to U.S. Senator Patty Murray. Culatta’s previous work centered around leveraging social media to create effective large-scale distributed learning environments. As Chief Technology Officer at CIA University, Culatta developed an online learning platform to extend learning opportunities to CIA officers worldwide. Prior to joining the federal government, Culatta was the Director of Operations for the Rose Education Foundation and learning technologies advisor at Brigham Young University where he was instrumental in redesigning the teacher preparation program at the McKay School of Education. He began working with educational technology at the University of Rhode Island where he co-taught the university’s first technology integration workshops for faculty.


Culatta is passionate about accelerating innovation in education with a particular interest in games for learning, personalized learning, and open education. He recently launched EdStartup 101, a massive open online course (MOOC) to support new educational entrepreneurs in developing the next generations of apps and services for teachers and learners. As a former Spanish teacher, Culatta remains an advocate for bilingual education. He lives in northern Virginia with his wife and three children.


Abstract: Current models for teaching and learning have traditionally left many students underserved. Technology provides the opportunity to reimagine learning in ways that can adapt and personalize learning to the needs of all students and teachers. However, in order for that to happen some pieces of the digital puzzle still need to be aligned, including increased connectivity and access, new approaches to measuring effectiveness of technology tools, and new ways to use data to help teachers, students, and parents make better decisions about each child’s educational pathway. Mr. Culatta will discuss the work underway at the U.S. Department of Education to address these issues and offer recommendations to the field on where and how new solutions are needed to provide all students with engaging, personalized learning.


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