Under: department of education
President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, faced a tough lineup of Senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday evening. The heated, partisan questioning primarily focused on DeVos’ beliefs on school choice/privatization, accountability, and civil rights and her financial contributions to education reform groups. Unfortunately, education technology was not a topic addressed directly by DeVos or by any of the Committee’s members.
The instructional materials marketplace has changed markedly over the last few years. More school districts are shifting from physical textbooks to digital and online resources and increasingly are utilizing openly licensed resources [or open educational resources (OER)] to supplement commercially developed materials. In addition, commercial materials developers have even begun to incorporate OER within their own content and have started to curate OER for schools.
The U.S. Department of Education initial launch packet of its #GoOpen initiative incorrectly leads the public to believe that the only way they can make the “transition to digital learning” is by using open educational resources. This will be news to the many school districts that have been using commercially developed digital instructional materials for years.
Many of these digital commercial materials provide rich, digital-native content rather than simple PDFs or text on basic websites. Here are just a few of the many examples of digital commercial materials:
The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and its authors have been clear since the law’s passage that greater autonomy in decision-making must be given to the states and local education agencies. Today the U.S. Department of Education announced that, in addition to its current negotiated rulemaking session, it will only begin regulatory processes in three more areas of the new law this year:
1. State accountability systems and reporting