Sunday, August 1, 2010

IL: One step forward...but one step back

I received this from a colleague recently:


TechAmerica Applauds Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for Digital Textbook Legislation

Governor signs legislative measure to encourage use of digital textbooks and materials in schools

Naperville, Ill. – TechAmerica applauds Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois Legislature for signing into law Senate Bill 3547, which expands the definition of textbooks in all Illinois statutes to allow for the use of electronic textbooks and the technological equipment necessary to gain access to and use electronic textbooks. Senate Bill 3547 also expands the scope of textbook funding sources in Illinois to include electronic textbooks and related materials.

“We applaud Governor Quinn and Illinois legislators, including our Chief sponsors, Senate Majority Leader James F. Clayborne, Jr. and Representative LaShawn K. Ford, for supporting this important legislation,” said T. Kendall Hunt, Chairman, CEO, VASCO Data Security International, and Chair of TechAmerica Midwest.
“TechAmerica is a strong advocate for educational initiatives that better prepare students, and our future leaders, for the 21st century.”

The educational, environmental, and financial benefits of using digital textbooks and materials in the classroom are numerous. Studies have shown increased attendance by students, improved writing scores, and greater depth of student research in schools using digital textbooks and related technologies. Digital literacy is the cornerstone of most professional and academic environments. These initiatives help familiarize students with the types of hardware, software and internet programs that they will be expected to use in the workplace. Senate Bill 3547 will also help put technology in the hands of the student groups least likely to have access to technology, including rural and minority students.

“We applaud Governor Quinn and Illinois legislators, including our Chief sponsors, Senate Majority Leader James F. Clayborne, Jr. and Representative LaShawn K. Ford, for supporting this important legislation,” said T. Kendall Hunt, Chairman, CEO, VASCO Data Security International, and Chair of TechAmerica Midwest. “TechAmerica is a strong advocate for educational initiatives that better prepare students, and our future leaders, for the 21st century.”

The educational, environmental, and financial benefits of using digital textbooks and materials in the classroom are numerous. Studies have shown increased attendance by students, improved writing scores, and greater depth of student research in schools using digital textbooks and related technologies. Digital literacy is the cornerstone of most professional and academic environments. These initiatives help familiarize students with the types of hardware, software and internet programs that they will be expected to use in the workplace. Senate Bill 3547 will also help put technology in the hands of the student groups least likely to have access to technology, including rural and minority students.

The educational, environmental, and financial benefits of using digital textbooks and materials in the classroom are numerous. Studies have shown increased attendance by students, improved writing scores, and greater depth of student research in schools using digital textbooks and related technologies. Digital literacy is the cornerstone of most professional and academic environments. These initiatives help familiarize students with the types of hardware, software and internet programs that they will be expected to use in the workplace. Senate Bill 3547 will also help put technology in the hands of the student groups least likely to have access to technology, including rural and minority students.

While I applaud the efforts of moving forward with digital textbooks, I am concerned with the lack of mention regarding the design of those digital textbooks (or the way the digital textbooks are accessed) be accessible to ALL students. It is amazing to me that in the age where the National Educational Technology Plan (http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010) is peppered with language regarding UDL and NIMAS that local state legislation does not incorporate those concepts from the beginning.

Any thoughts on this?

2 comments:

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