New Federal Legislation Supports Technology Readiness for Digital Learning and Online Assessment

U.S. Representative George Miller (CA) today introduced The Transforming Education Through Technology Act” (H.R. 521) to help ensure the nation’s elementary and secondary schools have access to the technology infrastructure, applications and professional support needed for digital learning and online assessment. Congressman Miller is Ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Education & the Workforce Committee, coauthor of the No Child Left Behind Act, and was recently recognized for his leadership in education technology.

“The Transforming Education Through Technology Act is an important step forward in providing our students and educators with the technology supports they need for success in school and in the workplace,” said SIIA President Ken Wasch. “We look forward to working further with Congressman Miller to provide the leadership and investment needed to modernize our educational practices and instructional resources through technology and digital learning.”

SIIA is pleased to be part of a coalition of organizations endorsing the bill, representing K-12 teachers, technology officers, administrators and high-tech companies.

The Transforming Education Through Technology Act would:

  • Support and prepare teachers and principals to use technology to redesign curriculum, effectively use real-time data to drive classroom practice, individualize instruction, and increase student engagement;
  • Help school districts ensure equitable access to, and effective use of, the technology infrastructure and applications all students need for expanded learning opportunities, online assessment and computer-based curriculum;
  • Seed new models of digital learning that help personalize learning, including through curriculum redesign, online communities of practice, and interactive learning simulations; and
  • Help states to support their school districts to improve student learning, upgrade assessments, and improve educator preparation and support around technology.

The legislation comes at an important time for the role of technology in education. Common core state standards and online assessments are among the factors driving the need for technology, and educators are asking “how” not “if.” However, the continued budget crunch has left too many schools and students without adequate access. This new bill would go a long way toward addressing those gaps, and SIIA will continue its advocacy for this and related public investments.

Mark SchneidermanMark Schneiderman is Senior Director of Education Policy at SIIA. Follow the SIIA Policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy

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