Monday, April 15, 2013
On February 5th, House Education & the Workforce Ranking Member George Miller (D-CA) introduced the Transforming Education Through Technology Act (H.R. 521). Endorsed strongly by CoSN and ISTE, this bill would establish a $500 million block grant program to support school technology infrastructure and professional learning needs and a $250 million competitive grant program to promote innovative technology programs in schools nationwide. With no dedicated federal funding for education technology and education technology professional learning since 2010, this legislation will help jump start the conversations we need to have to ensure that our students and educators are equipped with 21st Century skills. Ultimately, this legislation will take significant steps to make sure that our teachers are prepared to personalize student learning and schools have the infrastructure to deliver online assessments in 2014.
Education, like every sector in America, is undergoing a digital transformation. As students and educators embrace personalized instruction, online and mobile learning, adaptive assessments and data-driven decision making, and develop critical thinking, collaboration, communication and digital citizenship skills, demands on school networks will continue to skyrocket. Unfortunately, unlike the business and healthcare sectors, K–12 investment in school broadband infrastructure has lagged. Even the successful E-Rate program cannot meet rapidly escalating school needs for increased bandwidth. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) recognizes that we as a nation must invest in school broadband connectivity to ensure our students graduate equipped for success. Act now!