Great Start for Digital Learning Policy in the 113th Congress: Comprehensive Education Technology Bill Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives

Today, Congressman George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee introduced the Transforming Education through Technology Act. The introduction of this legislation is an important milestone in digital learning policy.  With no dedicated federal funding over last few years for classroom technology, and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act stalled, the Transforming Education through Technology Act will be a rallying opportunity for the entire education community to highlight and underscore the key role digital learning plays in all aspects of teaching and learning to ensure all students are college and career ready.

“We’re a strong supporter of Congressman Miller’s Transforming Education through Technology Act,” said Brian Lewis, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). “The legislation’s strong focus on professional learning for teachers and administrators is the key to developing and implementing effective and engaging curriculum. Once again, Congressman Miller has taken a leading role on an issue of great importance to all students. His leadership on digital learning policy recognizes that there is an important federal role in ensuring that all students receive an education that prepares them for successful and meaningful lives.”

The Transforming Education through Technology Act has a strong focus on students, teachers and administrators.  Complimenting the ISTE NETS, the purposes of the legislation include, among others, to:

  • Improve the achievement and college-and-career readiness of students who have developed the ability to think critically, apply knowledge to solve complex problems, work collaboratively, communicate effectively, be self-directed and be responsible digital citizens;
  • Ensure all students have access to individualized, rigorous and engaging digital learning experiences;
  • Ensure that educators have the knowledge and skills to develop and implement digital learning curriculum, use technology effectively in order to personalize and strengthen instruction and effectively deliver and utilize assessments to measure student outcomes and support student success;
  • Ensure that administrators have the leadership, management, knowledge and skills to design develop and implement a school or local educational agency-wide digital age learning environment.

ISTE joined with several education organizations releasing a joint press statement in support of the Transforming Education through Technology Act.  The organizations are:  Alliance for Excellent Education (Alliance), American Association of School Administrators (AASA), Association of Education Service Agencies (AESA), Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), National Rural Education Advocacy Coalition (NREAC), National Rural Education Association (NREA),  the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

Here are links to Representative Miller’s Press statement, the complete legislation, the fact sheet and bill summary.

4 thoughts on “Great Start for Digital Learning Policy in the 113th Congress: Comprehensive Education Technology Bill Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives

  1. The bill allocates 500 million dollars for the first year. Is this enough? Has anyone calculated/estimated the total cost for building the infrastructure and assets needed to implement Common Core AND teach digital literacy in ALL K-12 schools?

  2. Thank you for sharing the key details of this legislation, as it is being discussed. ISTE’s role & voice (as well as the other supportive organizations) can hopefully educate teachers and administrators as to the legislation’s content and ramifications. We can only hope that there is adequate agreement to pass this legislation and to provide funding so the infrastructure and training costs are covered.I hope to receive updates as to this Act’s progress during legislative sessions.

  3. This is an important bill that will support critical needs for infrastructure and professional development around educational technologies. As an ISTE member, I really appreciate their leadership in working so diligently to keep a focus on technology during these times of challenging budgets. It’s an important way to prepare our students for the future.

  4. The Comprehensive Education Technology Bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives is a welcome addition to our low tech classrooms in urban schools. Will it be enough sustained funds to bridge the divide for professional development and technological infrastructure especially in the older school buildings. The bill states that some parts of the funds will have to be matched if it dose not cause undue hardship. We are well into the twenty-first century, we should not be quibbling over technology support for our country’s youth. Technology is so important in blended learning but it is only one half of the support, the other part is our educators. If either side is weakened, then what will the out come be? When you read the entire bill it seems like a Monopoly treasure hunt for technology funds where some players gain funds and others lose funds based on prior bills. There will be loop holes.

    More accountability for teachers, administrators, and districts as well. Every time you see the word local in the bill that means near by educational foundation or you can call them teachers; will be deciding how and what they will be accountable to teach. The problem is every classroom is not the same nor does it have the same students inside so what one class achieves another might be able to exceed. Regardless of similarities or differences in classes, teachers will be held accountable for the student outcomes. It will also be interesting to see if technology is evenly distributed in individual schools, and throughout all grade levels. As an educator and a member of ISTE I am appreciative for the timely information and the bill that is giving technological funds to further advance student learning in our country. Teachers will always do their best with what the have access to. Unfortunately, we are expected to do more with less consistently.

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